Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Query Wars

I have spent a lot of time lately on the internet looking at sites about querying agencies in the States. It is tiring and exhausting and at times, very confusing. For example, one agent advises that the word count should never go in the first sentence of your query, as it is boring information and you should begin with the 'meat' of your query. If interested, the agent can then go on to read about the word count and such. Makes sense.

But then another agent on another web site suggests that the word count should always go in the first sentence, as if it is not an appropriate word count then there is very little point in reading anything at all.
Also makes sense.
So what is a person to do?
Especially in light of the fact that the writer who proofed my query (harshly, I might add) suggested that I do not include the word count at all as it is not important information unless the agent is interested, at which point the details could be discussed.
Anyways. I have been including it in the first sentence.
Sometimes I find this process rather overwhelming.
But then I remind myself not to sweat the small stuff. I mean, honestly- would say, Stephen King, for example, not be a writer today because he had included the word count in the former rather than the latter portion of his query letter? Would he be somewhere else right now, say working in an oil rig somewhere or something, because of a minor detail like that?
Of course not.
Writers write.
And eventually, they do get published.
Anyways. The querying continues at a slightly slower pace for now. I was pretty enthused after my first response was a positive one. I had, at that point, a 100% success rate at querying.
But with one more email my stats dropped to 50%. And now, two more emails later, I am sitting at 25%.
Kinda but not really.

My husband said to me that night that I got my first positive response (okay, only positive response--at least so far ), Debbie Downer that he is, "try not to get too excited." And I was like "I have to get excited now, this may be my only chance to get excited." Which he didn't really understand but I was like "well imagine (finger quotes) you were a geeky guy in high school who didn't get many chances with girls and every girl you ever tried to hook up with slapped you across the face. Well imagine once, that you didn't get slapped across face. For once in your life, you didn't feel that cold sting of rejection. And maybe you only made it to first base, but still, that would be like the high light of year senior year.
That's how getting a partial request is for me.
It's not a book deal.
It's not an offer of representation.
It's not even a full request.
But still. It's not a straight out slap across the face.
And as one writer wrote one query tracker: "all we really want is for someone to read the dang thing"
And that, perhaps, says it best.
Anyways, here are my stats to date:
Days of querying: 18
Queries sent: 16
Positive responses: 1
Negative responses: 3
Responses pending: 12
Anyways, I am going to go to sleep now. Have a good night.


nikki said...

I love the air quote! Haha
Good luck, and remember I love you the most when you get rich and famous!!

Lorrie said...

You could also tell Geoff 'I was that one that didn't slap you in the face' haha! Keep the faith SIL, keep the faith!!!!!!!!!!!!