Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Query Update

Today, I'm thankful for a good night's sleep.

Ah, Bob’s first query update. At last. I’m doing the numbers a little differently with this manuscript, but in any case, here they are:

Total queries: 24
Pending queries: 15
Minimum response time: 0 days
Median response time: 1 day
Maximum response time: 6 days

I’ve really only been querying since November 1, and I didn’t expect to have so many queries out so soon. But I got a partial request last Tuesday that turned into a full request literally overnight, and at that time, I only had eight queries out. So I panicked--and probably went a little overboard:) Far and away, this is the most queries I’ve ever sent out at once. I intended to send them out in batches of five to ten every week or so, and I’ll probably go back to that now that the excitement of a partial-turned-full request isn’t (quite) so potent.

The response times are skewed, obviously, since I’ve only been querying for a little more than a week. Still, nine responses within six days is pretty good. Way to go, agents!

The only other thing I’ve noticed so far is that the rejections have all been very kind, complimenting something about the concept or the sample pages and then pointing out that, on the whole, they just didn’t fall in love with it. Even when they don’t spell that out specifically, agents probably think it most of the time. We’re the same way. I mean, I read dozens of books every year, and yet I only recommend a handful of them. Because even though I find good things in nearly every book I read, I have to really fall in love with the story if I’m going to recommend it. And agents have to fall in love with both the concept and the writing if they’re going to represent it.

Well, that’s it from me. Anyone else querying right now? If so, how’s it going?

38 comments:

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Good for you, Krista. I don't think it's a problem sending out so many queries as long as your query is working -- which it sounds like it is. :) Querying can be such an emotional time. Hang in there! And that's a great thing to remember -- as authors we need an agent who won't just press the "like" button on our manuscript, but who will go out and shout their love to the world. I'm hoping you find that person really soon!

Amy

Ben Spendlove said...

Nice! I feel good when anyone at all shows interest, let alone an agent. Wow.

Now I'm all excited to start querying. I just got through the climactic point of my rewrite this morning. (It must be going well, because it made my wife cry.) Now I've got to line edit the whole thing and get some beta readers, etc. I'm thinking Christmas. That's when I'll start. (!!!)

Connie said...

That's great news!! I hope it works out.

I'm querying too. I'm waiting to hear from an agent that seems to like the book. But I'm not holding my breath since I've had some very close calls before. In the meantime, I'm editing my next book.

Krista V. said...

Amy, I'm hoping I find that person really soon, too:)

Ben, how awesome that you're almost finished with your rewrite! One quick piece of advice: I'd wait until the new year to start querying. A lot of agents completely close up shop the last two weeks in December, anyway, and even if they don't, they're probably not in the best query-reading frame of mind, you know? Anyway, that's just my two cents. Feel free to pick it up or leave it on the pavement.

Krista V. said...

Connie, sounds like you're in the right frame of mind. I'm still wandering around with a goofy smile on my face:)

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

Good job with the full request! That's awesome! As you probably know, I am getting closer and closer to the query stage. I am probably going to wait unitl after the holiday season, however. I have a feeling I won't be completely ready for another month and I know agents are getting bombarded this time of the year. So, that's my goal. Maybe I can really sharpen my MS extra until then. I've gotten good reviews so far, so am feeling good. We'll see what you say, though, eh? =)

Kristi Helvig said...

Good luck Krista--my fingers are crossed for you. I'm planning to start querying at the beginning of the year, assuming I'm happy with my revisions. :)

Jennifer Pickrell said...

Good luck to you and Bob :)

Ben Spendlove said...

Ooh, good point. Thanks.

Next year! That's when I'll start!!!

Colene Murphy said...

Awe good luck!! Amazing that you got requests so soon!

Nicole said...

Good luck! I'm doing the query thing at the moment but I'm doing it in small batches. While I wait, I'm working on a novel for NaNoWriMo!

lotusgirl said...

This is nice to see. I'm glad you're having some requests and compliments.

Kris said...

Just wanted to post my best wishes!

I've been querying since June--about 50ish queries and counting. I've still got a full and three partials out. I'm less fidgety than I was at the beginning, but still check email WAYYY too often.

Good luck!

Holly said...

Krista, my very best wishes! I've followed Bob from his birthday and feel like he's my second baby.

I sent a query today to an agent who doesn't ask for a synopsis and will query everybody else after Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Krista V. said...

Thanks, Kathryn. I'll be reading more of yours later:)

Kristi, the revisions seem never-ending sometimes, don't they? I hope you meet your deadline!

Thank you, Jennifer.

Thank you, Colene. Actually, my first few responses were all requests. Good thing a string of rejections rolled in right after:)

Nicole, good luck with NaNo and with your querying!

Me, too, lotusgirl.

Kris, thank you. And good luck yourself. I've never been a habitual e-mail checker, but then, I haven't queried much while blogging. Whenever I find myself on the Internet, it's hard to resist Gmail's siren song.

Holly, you can definitely claim Bob:) Good luck with your querying!

ali said...

Great stats! And WTG on the request for a full! Woot!

Stephanie@thecrackedslipper said...

I'm querying too with three partials and a full out right now. I'm on pins and needles b/c last agent used the word "fantastic" in her request for full. Maybe she is just a really positive person! This is my very first querying experience but I think everyone catches on quickly... one yes, several no's...process process process! Good luck on that request-- I think it's ok to query a bunch of agents if you're getting positive responses from your query!

Shallee said...

Yay, congrats on your querying going well and quickly! I'm not querying yet-- hopefully my MS will be ready in a few months, though! Good luck, I hope things keep going well.

Myrna Foster said...

Eeek! You already have a request for a full? That's so exciting! And that is a lot of queries you have out at once, but you have enough experience to know what you're doing.

I hope someone great loves it soon!

Krista V. said...

Thanks for the "Woot," ali!

Stephanie, sounds like you're doing really well for your time on the query-go-round. My first ride was abysmal - one request in fifty-something queries.

Shallee, thank you, and good luck with your manuscript. Is this your YA dystopian?

Myrna, double eeek! And I sure hope I know what I'm doing... :)

Myrna Foster said...

Does that mean you have two requests now?

Janet Johnson said...

Yay for the partial turned full! Good luck with it. :)

I'm on the verge of querying . . . though I've been saying that for a while now. Hmmm . . .

Krista V. said...

Myrna...I'll e-mail you.

Thanks for your encouragement, Janet. And I know exactly what you mean about feeling like you're on the verge of querying FOREVER:) Hope you make the leap soon/when you're ready.

Esther Vanderlaan said...

Great work!!!!

Elena Solodow said...

Sounds like you're on a roll! I'll be querying the world-at-large in a couple weeks, but I did have correspondence with one agent that said the same thing: she liked it, but it wasn't her thing. It's so true that you have to hit just the right person. Agents are awesome for giving so much time!

Carol Riggs said...

Nice work, Krista! That's a fast request. :) Yay, GO BOB! You send more out than I do, cuz it takes so long to do the agent research; I send about 6 out at a time. Right now I have two fulls out on one ms, which I'm uber-excited about. Trying to keep busy on my WIP for a distraction. *grin*

Suzie F. said...

Good luck with your querying! Sounds like you're off to a great start with those requests!

I'm currently trying to finish a first draft so I have a long way to go before my journey into queryland.

Stephanie@thecrackedslipper said...

WIP is definitely the best way to avoid sitting in front of your computer and waiting for a response!

I think I'm probably having some beginners luck-- and I attended an awesome pitch conference in NYC that really helped hone my query. Two editors I pitched are reviewing the MS in addition to the agents with it, but I don't count them (because the chance of them buying it is just so slim and too much to hope for, and it could take them eight months to get back to me anyway!). I really recommend the Pitch Conference to anyone with access-- NYC Pitch and Shop! VERY WORTH IT!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Good luck querying! I'm currently redoing the beginning of my fantasy YA then I'll be querying it. :)

Krista V. said...

Thanks, Esther!

Elena, that's why I'm committed to sending out at least 100 queries this time around. I heard someone suggest that number once, and it seemed like a good target. With my first two manuscripts, I sent out fifty-something and seventy-something queries, and you never know if the NEXT query will be the one you send to your future agent.

Yeah, Carol, I went a little overboard. *blushes* At least I don't have to send any new ones out for a while, right? (Although we've already seen how much self-control I have, so we'll see:) )

Thanks, Suzie, and good luck with your first draft. There's something special about those.

Stephanie, oh, to see NYC! Attending a pitch conference would just be the icing on the cake:)

How exciting, Nicole! Best of luck to you, too.

Abby Minard said...

Wow, that's amazing and definitely sounds positive to me. Sounds like your query and concept are working, and now you just have to find THE ONE. Good luck!!

I have a question- you may have blogged about this so sorry if you have and just link me to it- what did you use to help you with your query letter? A book(s), internet, other people's queries? All three? Thanks!

Krista V. said...

Abby, good question. Most of what I used was just good, old-fashioned experience from trying (and generally failing) to write good queries:) I have this idea about starting a query with the manuscript's initial conflict and then summarizing the plot (and throwing in essential world building and character development) until you get to the compounding conflict (sometimes called the turning point or the problem that the climax will resolve).

Then I'd just suggest getting feedback on it from a lot of different people: your critique partners, since they'll be able to give you an insider's view; friends who like to read; members of forums. I spent a lot of time hanging around Nathan Bransford's forums when I was writing my query (but I believe Absolute Write and Verla Kay, if you write YA or MG, have similar features), and I even posted it here on the blog one day to hear everyone's thoughts. That's the key to a good query, I think: lots and lots and LOTS of feedback.

The nice thing about doing the forum feedback thing is you also get to critique a lot queries, too, and I learned a lot just by reading other people's attempts and then articulating what worked for me, what made sense to me, and what didn't.

Okay, so that was probably way more information than you wanted, but hey, I go overboard:) Good luck writing your query, Abby!

Liesl said...

What a great place to be! I hope an agent sweeps Bob of his feet soon.

I hope to be in your place in the next few months, but some setbacks have appeared so we'll see how it goes.

Krista V. said...

I read about your setbacks on your blog, Liesl. I know you'll come up with a better way to resolve that plot point.

Shari said...

I just found your blog via Erin's and wanted to say congratulations on the request! I'm at a similar point in the process - started querying a week ago and have one full and one partial out to agents right now - and definitely agree with you about how emotional a time it is. I think that's good, though. It shows how much our books and our writing mean to us :)

Best of luck to you!!

Krista V. said...

Hi, Shari! It's always nice to hear I'm not slugging it out in the trenches alone:) Good luck with your querying! What's the genre of your manuscript?

Shari said...

Thank you so much, and the same to you! My fingers are crossed that your querying continues to go well :) My manuscript is women's fiction -- it was by far my favorite project to ever have worked on!

Krista V. said...

Cool, Shari. I feel the same way about Bob.