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Finding a time-efficient way to send QUERIES to agents and publishers(1)
Barbara C Johnson
Posted: Thursday, June 9, 2011 5:52 PM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 3

Authors have the humungous burden of mailing QUERY letters to agents, agents, and agents. I might be an author trying to sell a book, but I also have other tasks on my plate. I simply cannot take the time daily to spend writing agents and publishers.

Given that it is 2011 and technology is sophisticated, I have chosen to put my QUERY letter on a website.

On the website, I put not only my HOOK, MINI-SYNOPSIS, and BIO, but also a few responses I received from a reader (fascinating!) to whom I sent the entire book for critiquing, and three sample chapters.

I am hoping the website will save me hourssssss of time.

What do you think of this idea?  And do you have any ideas on this subject?  If so, I'd love to hear them.

Colleen Lindsay
Posted: Sunday, June 12, 2011 6:46 PM
Joined: 2/27/2011
Posts: 356

This is actually a pretty terrible idea.

If you're serious about starting a career as a writer, you can't start off by being lazy about the important things. And how would an agent even know to look for your query?

When I was an agent, I certainly didn't go searching websites for a writer's query letter on random blogs.And if I ever received an email asking me to visit a website to read a query, I simply deleted the query without a response because the writer obviously hadn't bothered to do any research about me as an agent. Additionally, I certainly would never have wanted to represent a writer who seemed to expect shortcuts, who seemed as though he or she didn't want to do the work required to make it as a published writer.

I think you'll find that the vast majority of agents want emailed queries, tailored to his or her particular submission guidelines. You need to do your research; but there are plenty of great free resources online to research agents. You can start with agentquery.com and querytracker.net.

Good luck!
Jennifer S Wilkov
Posted: Sunday, August 7, 2011 12:53 PM
Joined: 8/7/2011
Posts: 7

Hi, Barbara.

As the old saying goes, what goes around comes around.

If you don't have the time to research and submit to agents and editors, why should they take the time to submit and get behind your book?

If you won't champion your book to the industry, it's unrealistic for you to expect the industry to come running forth to champion it either.

If you believe in your book, don't post your query letter on a website. This is lazy and agents and editors are not searching the Internet for your query letter.

Treat the process of finding an agent like interviewing for a job. Do your research. Find the agents and agencies that are most appropriate for your book. Invest the time to get to know more about them. Read their blogs, follow them on Twitter, look up their websites, understand what they represent and what they don't.

Having an agent is a business partnership and an important business relationship. I talk about this all the time on my show with bestselling authors - their agent plays a significant role in their career. However, they did the work to find and build that relationship.

After all, you wouldn't marry someone without getting to know them first, would you?

Agents I speak to as both a radio show host who interviews them and as the Literary Agent Matchmaker(TM) concur: if you won't get behind your book and do the work to support your own career and move it forward, why should they?

When I work with clients as the Literary Agent Matchmaker(TM), writers are involved in the work we do. We work as a team as I prep writers for submission of their work and their impending relationship with an agent and publisher. But I don't do it for them because that wouldn't serve them as writers or the industry for that matter.

Decide if you want to be a writer, not as a hobby but as a career. Invest your time the way you would if you were applying for other careers in other industries.

If you do take this process seriously, you will seriously reap the rewards.

I wish you good fortune with your quest to secure representation for your book.

~ Jennifer
Joe Selby
Posted: Thursday, August 18, 2011 6:04 PM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 30

HI Barbara

I've heard agents say that they receive these kinds of queries, but I have never heard any authors propose this method. It is a guaranteed rejection. Publishing is a very personal industry for as much as it may seem otherwise. Your approach is the exact opposite direction you want to go if you want to find representation.

I simply cannot take the time daily to spend writing agents and publishers.

If this is the case, you may reconsider pursuing publication. The demands on your time once you've sold your book will increase dramatically, and I don't mean writing a second book. There's a lot more to publishing than writing and if querying is too much of a burden, the rest of the process will only be worse.
Sinnie Ellis
Posted: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 3:37 AM
Joined: 4/3/2011
Posts: 67

There is no efficient way to win the war of the query. Time is time and you only have so much. Self-publishing is always an option and one I've had to consider seriously. If you can find your own audience and believe me it takes time and only a few actually get there, then self publish. If you want readers to take you seriously as a writer do the grind like the rest of us, cross your fingers and hope someone will want to back your work.
I've been at it three years, rejections suck and I have an ample stack of them (hundreds), none of them helpful but I have them just the same.


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