Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Plan of Attack

Who all here as queried before? Let's see a show of hands.

I'm trying to devise a plan before I start sending queries out all willy-nilly into the world. There are several different strategies I've heard.

  1. Just get them out. All at once or within close succession, however you can.
  2. Send out bursts...maybe five or so at a time.
  3. Send out 10 and wait for responses from them all, then send another 10.

I don't know. *five second panic attack*

Why am I so terrified to start sending queries? I keep trying to come up with things to do instead. I must have read my query letter 50 times in the last week. I can't find a single word I want to change anymore. The lovely KO has already finished her read-through and gave very positive feedback. It didn't take me any time to add a couple touches where she recommended.

There's nothing left to change! *yet another mini panic attack*

Okay, taking deep breaths now. Which plan of attack would you follow? My brain is in shut-down-I-refuse-to-make-a-decision mode.


Alicia Gregoire said...

I've been there. I spent a good chunk of time organizing who I was going to query and when.

Since you can only query the agent once per project, I opted NOT to send the queries all at once, but in groups of 10. In each grouping, I included agents that I really, really, REALLY want and agents lower on the list. Then while I wait for those answers I do something else.

The first query is anxiety-inducing. I stared at my email for maybe about 10 minutes on the first one until Hubby turned and said "Are you ever going to hit send?"

Then, with eyes closed, I hit send.

Good luck!

Christine Fonseca said...

I started out sending a few out at a time. After days turned into weeks, and then into months...I just sent out a ton! (My impatience shining through).

The important thing I learned - the art of waiting!

Erinn said...

My plan is to make a list of 20 or so agents. Number them 1-20 in order of your dream agents.
Round 1 Five queries only
1 query from your top five

3 queries from 6-14

1 query from 15-20

Wait for responses. Evaluate your query, and make tweeks.

Do it again.

And Again and one more time.
This way you haven't blown it with any agents and you still have options out there.

DON'T DO A MASSIVE QUERY SEND-- awful awful awful idea.

Oh and get the away from the computer--- this way you can't obsessively check your e-mail.


Perri said...

A few at a time... in theory, this helps you perfect and retool your query. In practice, It draws the whole agonizing process out indefinitely :)

Holly Dodson said...

Ha, Erinn, I sit at a computer all day long for work! LOL There will be no escape!

Pam Harris said...

I say send out a batch of 10, wait for responses, and then send out another 10. Good luck! :)

Abby Stevens said...

The Gatekeeper has a good query plan:


KO said...

Glad you thought my first-ever beta read was okay. I was nervous!

Erinn's plan sounds very strategic and reasonable... now whether I can manage to be that controlled when the time comes for me, I don't know.

Yay! Very excited for you!

Amie Kaufman said...

I'm no expert, but I think the key's in staying patient for just a little bit longer, and taking the time to query in batches. If you get consistent feedback on one aspect, that's worth considering before you continue, and if you get consistent refusals, the query letter might need revisiting. Either way, you can only query each agent once, so I say go for a small group that's a mix of dream agents and agents further down the list, get results, repeat. (All this with the caveat that I really know no more than you!)

Laura Ann Dunks said...

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

I did #2.

I sent out batches, maybe once a week or every two weeks. I didn't wait for responses to send out another burst. I thought this was time efficient since some agents don't respond at all or their response times were long.