Saturday, February 13, 2010
The Perils of Querying
So, as a few of you know, I submitted my query to Query Shark. The experience has been invaluable and I love the suggestions (yes, even the manner they are given), but now I'm terrified that every agent that follows Janet's blog is going to see my query. Have they already judged it as something they don't want? As a fantasy writer, according to Query Tracker, there are only 107 agents that represent fantasy, so my options are more limited than other writers who write commercial fiction or romance or the like. It would be wonderful if Janet was interested in my story, but I don't expect it. She states on her Fineprint website what she represents and fantasy isn't one she prefers. I submitted my query in the hopes of having assistance (and it's been great) with writing my query, not to squeeze in a query for her to actually be interested in. It'd be wonderful if she likes it enough to send me in the direction of someone she knows that would be interested in it. I just worry I've shot myself in the foot and have already biased agents against my idea from them seeing my first query. Maybe I'm just being paranoid.
Posted by Christi Goddard at 11:06 AM
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I read Query Shark, and though I'm not an agent, I see a lot of potential and talent on there. No one's query is perfect in its first draft. It would be dumb for agents to reject a nice query just because they had seen its evolution. We all start somewhere. You're just a braver writer who happened to display yours publicly (and I hope to join you sometime.) As long as you make it clear that you take Janet's advice in mind and are willing to edit -- and even better, share those edits -- it won't reflect negatively on you. In fact, I think it does the opposite. ;)
I think you will be fine! The whole point of you sending it in was to clean it up, not to be judged by agents. No matter if they have seen your query or not, they will take a great ms. When you do get an agent, you can laugh at how scared you were at first. It will make a great read for your fans!
Paranoia strikes. I totally get what you're saying, but I don't think it'll truly affect you. Plus, if you look at it in the positive light, that if you hadn't gotten the help, they could have rejected you cause your query sucked before, then you can see that it was worth getting the help from the shark...
Learn to fight the paranoia...WITH SWORDS! No, seriously though, just make every effort you can to dispel the thoughts. It's worth the help, and I severely doubt any agents will bone you over because of it. And even if they do, remember what I said elsewhere. And if you think 107 is bad, if I set Query Tracker to "Fiction - Mystery and Fiction - Crime/Detective/Police" it comes up with 62. Technically mine's a mystery because, well, it involves a mystery, but we could call it just plain old crime fiction. Doing that, it turns up 89. And those are just totals. Not even looking at those who accept unsolicited, etc. etc. etc. Like I said on the forums, just gotta buck up and keep on fighting.
I'm not one to pass judgment, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. I also think you've done the right thing.
I look forward to hearing the outcome. All the very best :)
I agree with those above: It shouldn't hurt you with other agents at all.
I submitted to Query Shark, but she didn't bite. Damn it. ;)
Nah, I think your good. I doubt all 107 agents follow her. Your number is better than mine. RWA approved agents count at only 74.
You're story is awesome. It will find a home, keep telling yourself that and don't give up. I know you are procrastinating...but in the meantime - start another one!
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