As many of you know, I have been in the process of querying literary agents for my next novel. Since the beginning of December, I have sent out 82 queries, all of which have been personalized and submitted per each agent’s specific guidelines. Currently, my statistics for this process look like this:
- Queries Sent: 82
- Rejections: 21
- Partial Requests: 1
- Full Requests: 3
I must say, waiting for a response is worse than getting a rejection in many ways. That may seem strange to some, but as an all-or-nothing, black-0r-white type of person, living in the “gray” is quite nerve-wracking. At least a rejection gives me an answer one way or the other; the not knowing is nearly unbearable.
During this process it’s essential to keep in mind that every agent receives hundreds of queries a week, thousands a month, and takes a varying period of time to respond to each. Some don’t respond at all if your query does not interest them, so it’s important to keep track of their guidelines — some will stipulate that if you have not gotten a response in X weeks or months, that means a pass on your manuscript. Keeping a spreadsheet with this information, as well as the date you initially queried and anything else you’d like to keep track of, is a must.
My querying spreadsheet has the following columns:
- Date Queried
- MS Requested?
- Query Rejected?
I also code my listings, using a specific color for those considering my full or partial manuscript, those who have rejected my query or manuscript, and those who have yet to reply. The organization of it all distracts me from the waiting…briefly.
In the mean time, as I do my best to resist the urge to refresh my inbox every five minutes, I’m getting to work on my next novel. At the end of the day, whether the novel I’m querying gets me representation or not, I’m a writer who must continue to write!