Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Query Lovin

It's not every day one dives into the query pool. In fact, as writers we spend months perfecting our lists, knowing what to shoot for, when to send it out, and when the fear will subside just long enough to hit send.

When does one know the timing is right?

I get asked this a lot and the answer I'd like to give is, you just know. The same question arises when one asks "How did you know he was the one," and the answer remains the same "you just know."

Each round you're taking that leap of faith. There's hope, reluctance, and fear all combined. You want them to love your work as much as you do. You want them to notice how much work you put into the characters.

Sometimes agents/publishers don't get your story.

It's part of the world you're walking into. Going with your gut has been the best piece of advice I've ever been given. Your gut only holds you back when it's supposed to.

Tips to help get you ready:

1. Write the story.
2. Like it.
3. Send it to friends.
4. Re-write the story (edit).
5. Send it to crit/beta readers.
6. Re-write again.
7. Write your query.
8. Send it to friends.
9. Write your synopsis.
10. Send BOTH to crit/beta readers.
11. Create query list.
12. Dive in.

Rejections and Aceeptance will happen. I told myself when I first started that I wasn't in the writing game until I received my first rejection. Trust me... it hurt, a lot, however a lot less than if I would have gone in thinking I was going to be the next Suzanne Collins.

Any in depth tips you'd add? How did you know you were ready?

25 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing this. I hope that I'll move in the I'm ready phase this year and jump in.

Creepy Query Girl said...

sometime you know you're NOT ready to query. But you can't help yourself and try sending out just a couple- to test the waters:) Then you get rejected. Then you wait until you REALLY know. lol

Meredith said...

Definitely a gut feeling. But ugh, the synopsis. That's the worst. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

LOL I'm going with Katie's answer. Even when your CP's and beta readers think the book's ready, it might still not be. You'll only know for sure when the rejections comes in.

Susan Roebuck said...

Problem with rejections is that you might not be rejected on your quality of writing. Your book just might not be right for the publisher at that time. With form rejections it's impossible to know. So take heart, rejections don't always mean you've written a bad book.

Talli Roland said...

I always try to remind myself that there are many many stories I can write if this one doesn't go anywhere. I find that helps ease the pressure a bit.

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm still not sure I'm ready. Haven't heard anything yet.

Nicole Zoltack said...

For the past two weeks, I've been really struggling to whip a query into shape. Still not perfect yet.

Carolyn V said...

I would add keep trying. Because it's too easy to give up. But rejection is a part of the field of writing.

S.P. Bowers said...

I start hyperventilating whenever I think of querying. I'm so close but I know I'm not quite there yet. I'm so excited to reach that stage but at the same time I'm going to take my time to make sure it's right.

Teenage Bride said...

just the word query makes me shake and shiver haha

I hope all is well Jen!!!

Carrie Butler said...

I'm querying right now. (Still waiting to see if my gut was right about the timing...)

Great post, Jen! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You're ready when you realize the results don't really matter.

Ann said...

Oh I do hate that word, 'Query'.
Love the list. And of course you are right...you just know.

Theresa Milstein said...

Great tips. I have nothing to add. It's never fun to get rejections, but it's part of the process.

Vivi said...

That list is darn near perfect!

But you forgot "eat lots of cake" in between each number. :) That definitely helps me.

Bish Denham said...

I sent out queries before I knew I wasn't ready. What a shock! I know so much more now than I did a few years ago.

Abby Minard said...

I also always try to remind myself that so many really good authors got rejected SO many times before they got their deals. Beth Revis wrote 11 books and queried them all before she found success with Across the Universe. That's what keeps me going.

Christina Lee said...

Yeah, sigh. So much good advice on here already, so I'll just say, "Ditto!"

Sarah Pearson said...

Like you said, I'm sort of hoping I'll 'just know' when it's ready. At least I know it's not, right now :-)

Michael Di Gesu said...

I think when one is truly tired of going through the umteenth revision that it's finally ready.

Gut play in it too, but for me it's the thought of another revision making me sick to my stomach. LOL.

Name: Holly Bowne said...

I actually find it harder to send my creative work to friends than I do sending it out in a query to a stranger. :o)

I love your advice about going with your gut (I always believe in that!) as well as how many times you have different groups look at your work before putting it into the world. Some great tips, here!

Trisha Leaver said...

Entering the query phase is both daunting and exciting. I always find it amazing that as writers we can pour out 200+ pages of amazing material, but get completely stumped when it comes to crafting a 250 word query.

I am a big fan of testing the waters. Once you have that perfect query letter written, send it out to a select few and see what happens.

Meredith said...

I think you're ready when the book is as good as YOU think it can be. If your instincts tell you it needs more work, trust them. But if you're done all you can, it's ready! You need to trust that an agent/editor will see the potential even if they feel it requires more editing.

Susanne Drazic said...

Great tips! Don't give up!