Skip to main content

Query Wins for Me

I am getting ready to query again after about a six-month hiatus and looked back through my records of responses and was quite pleased. 

In the past, I’ve had many close calls. I’ve had full requests from publishers and agents alike for a few different books I queried. I could have given up with the mounting rejections but the rejections I’ve gotten over the last year and a half have MOSTLY been inspiring. This might not make sense to anyone who hasn’t been through the querying trenches but there is such a thing as a good rejection. A good “no” per se.

In posting this I want to say that if you are a writer seeking publication, you need to keep writing, revising and editing…but especially keep submitting.

Here are a few of my rejections:

“I loved the concept and was riveted by the world you have created, but ultimately I just didn’t fall in love with the voice. It’s not for me, but I wish you the best of luck in your search for representation.”

‘There was so much here I admired and enjoyed, but I am not a perfect fit.”

“I was excited by your query and the premise of your book. It’s clear that you’ve devoted a lot of hard work to this project, and your passion comes through in your writing. However, while there is a lot to be commended, I struggled to connect with the manuscript in a meaningful way, and therefore don’t believe that I would be the most effective champion for your book.”

“This has such an intriguing premise. However, I didn't quite connect as strongly as I would have liked, so I'm passing, with regrets. It's not so much a craft issue so much as that gut feeling I rely on when deciding to ask for more.”

“I really enjoyed the read and think you have a great voice. Your world building is extremely strong and the characters are brilliant, but I’m afraid I’m going to say no. My list is very small and I can only take on what I really love, and whilst this is a book I’d definitely pick up in a bookshop, I don’t feel I’m the right agent to champion your work.”

So as you can see, I've reached the point where that cliché thing agents say—it's just not right for meis really true. My writing is not for everyone, just like every book, song, food, color or whatever isn't for everyone. We all have different tastes. I love Beyonce, IndiaArie, basketball, the color red, Black Panther, Arizona Ice Tea, sushi, chicken, Starbucks, anything J.K. Rowling touches, among many other things...but these are my tastes. Now, when I query I have to be much more choosy, I am on the lookout for an agent who loves my writing and sees a vision for my career not just the book they like. That, my friends, is a whole 'nother ball game.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Agent Protocol & Questions When You Get an Offer

Agent  Protocol - W hat is the standard protocol when dealing with agents? Should you respond to a "no" from an agent with a polite thank you? Although we want to be courteous to agents who take the time to look over our submission materials, you have to remember than they get a ton of emails a day and if everyone who got a no responded with a thank you or anything else then they would get inundated with more emails. Can you respond by asking why or for more in depth feedback? Agents aren't here to make us feel good or give us feedback-plain and simple.  If feedback is what you are looking for then find a good beta reader or critique group, enter a contest or a Twitter pitch party. If you enter a Twitter pitch party and an agent favorites your pitch sometimes if they reject you, they will give you a little feedback.  When should you nudge? If an agent hasn't responded to your query and it is two weeks past their normal response time then I would say nudge. Howe

Twitter Pitch Parties

About my year of participating in Twitter pitch parties and why you should participate too. First let's start off with the basics. A twitter pitch is 140 characters (less with appropriate hashtags) about your chosen novel. A Twitter pitch party is a predetermined hash tag (ex:#PitMad) that groups all tweets together so participating agents and publishers and the writing community can find pitches and any related social media postings. With additional genre hashtags added to the pitch party hashtag (#A, #YA, #NF #PB) and even more specific genre hash tags (#SFF, #HF #MR) agents and publishers can read pitches they are interested in. Example of a pitch:  3 generations of Black woman are bonded not only by life experiences but by a passed down pearl necklace. #DVpit #OWN #AA #A #WF #HF   (The hashtags include the twitter pitch party tag:  #DVpit  and the genre tags:  #OWN #AA #A #WF #HF ) One of the precursors to pitching in a twitter pitch part

Twitter Suggestions and Writing Hashtags

So now you're on Twitter but how do you find other like-minded souls? Hashtags and suggestions of people to follow by Twitter are the ways to go. These two elements help you network. Networking and remaining active by engaging and using hashtags is the key to becoming a force on this social media site. If you aren't aware, suggestions pop up when you click on someone’s profile/twitter feed. You then can click on the people Twitter suggests and follow them. You can also peruse through their tweets and note hashtags they've used. Having a popular hash tag to attach to your tweets helps you interact and find people who write and read or have similar tastes. You'll find a community of people you never knew existed.  Even as I've written this more hashtags have been invented and will continue to be invented. That's the internet for you.  New and trending twitter hashtags are made up everyday so search what's trending by pressing the explore button or look