I thought I’d take some time to update you on my querying adventure, Modern Philosophers.
Last July, I sent out about two dozen queries to agents in hopes of finding representation for the first Bruno novel. I was armed with a list of agents compiled for me by a dear friend and a query letter that I now realize really sucked.
I received less than a handful of replies, and none of them were positive.
So I decided to regroup. I focused on a rewrite of the novel. I changed the title. I added some elements that were inspired by the new Bruno serial I posted on the blog.
Perhaps most importantly, I wrote a new query letter. This one closely followed the guidelines set forth in all the research I did on query letters. Let’s just say my first query letter was total garbage and I completely understand why no one replied.
Once I was happy with the latest version of the novel and the new query letter, I set out in search of a better way to find agents. A writer friend pointed me to Manuscript Wish List and Query Tracker.
While the first site was a wonderful resource, Query Tracker has been a real game changer. I had heard about it from following so many querying writers on Twitter, but stupid me had jumped to the conclusion that it cost a lot of money to use.
When I finally got my head out of my ass and did a little research, I discovered that Query Tracker is absolutely free. It’s the premium service that costs money.
Query Tracker lists hundreds of agents and sorts them by company and the genre they represent. It also provides stats for each agent in regards to the queries they receive. With a click of a button, I can now see how many manuscripts an agent has requested and how many queries that agent has rejected. There is also feedback about every agent from my fellow querying writers.
And the site keeps track of my submission stats for me. I had been listing every query letter sent on a legal pad and then typing the data into a spreadsheet. Why I needed to keep the same information in two places does not make any sense to me. Truth be told, nothing I do ever makes sense.
Query tracker tells me how many queries I’ve sent along with how many requests and rejections I’ve received. It also sets up a separate list of the agents I’ve queried. So much information in one place.
It’s so easy to submit to agents via Query Tracker. I’ve got all my files saved on my laptop and I simply cut and paste them into the agent’s QT form. Life has gotten much easier.
As for the results, well, they aren’t much better. I’ve sent out 77 queries in the past month. I have received 1 full request and one partial request for my manuscript. There have also been 15 rejections.
Sadly, they have all been form rejections, so I haven’t been able to use any feedback to improve my process. One agent did make a comment on how to improve my query letter, though, so I took that advice to make some changes to the letter.
The good news is I have an organized way of getting my queries out to agents.
The bad news is that no one seems interested in my novel.
At least not yet.
I will continue to query. I will continue to write.
I’d just like to see a few more positive results on my Query Tracker dashboard.
One step at a time, at least you’re moving forward, learning as you go
Success indeed comes in steps, Austin!
Very slow, baby steps 🙂