Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for Query

Wait...what happened to P?

Oh. That. Well, P is for Perfect...which I'm not.  :)  Yesterday was insane and I didn't get to do a lot of what I wanted to do. Including blogging. But it's okay. I got done the things that were utterly crucial and that's the important thing. So yeah, yesterday was perfect in that regard. :)

But today we're talking about the letter Q!!!!  Q is for queries.  Hurrah!  And the total I've sent so far comes to a whopping...


That's right folks. I've sent out one query letter to date. "Wait, why not more?" Better to ask why I even sent the one.  I knew it wasn't ready. I wasn't ready. I knew I wouldn't buy the book if I received the one I got. But what I also know is that I have a wonderful and loving husband who wanted me to try.

He saw an opportunity and my trepidation and didn't like seeing me so scared.  

"But I'll get rejected, hon."
"But it can't hurt to try. And knowing it's not ready means a rejection won't hurt as bad."


It still hurt. Terribly.  But a day later he was right.  I had just racked up my first rejection (yes, I got rejected within 24 hours) and had successfully gotten over that initial fear.  There's still plenty more to come (fear and attempts) and I learned a lot in the process. I mean, hey, I did honestly try and write a good query. I really do want to be published.  But...I also know where I stand with my query and I'm not going to waste an agent's time when even I know it's not ready.

So how do you know when you're ready?  Seriously, I'm asking.  Because there are blogs and helpful sites up the wazoo, conferences and sessions just for this topic, and so how on earth do you know that it's good enough to send.

You send it.  :)  Okay, first you ask other writers. Other readers. Friends, family, critique groups, blog contests designed just for querying (actually did that once myself)... And tons of other help out there to get you prepared.  In fact, Elana Johnson is probably the foremost authority in the writing world when it comes to queries.  She talks about queries here, she played a valuable role in the establishment of query tracker, and even released her ebook From the Query to the Call for free here.  :) 

Love you Elana!!!!

Aren't writers wonderful?!  No where else have I seen others work so hard to help others succeed.  Maybe it's because we know we're not in competition with each other. There are plenty of readers to go around, and always hungry for another story. :) And they're just waiting for that moment when a new title appears. When you succeed in getting it published.  But first, you need to garner some interest. By writing a query. :)

So, how will you know that you're ready? Ideas? Suggestions? Successes you'd like to share?  :)


  1. Wait to go, Carrie. That takes guts. I'm nowhere near ready for querying, but I'll look to you for advice when I get there. :)

    I took a little break, too, and had to catch up. I think, like you, I did so masterfully. :)

  2. Cutting your query teeth is awesome - even if it means it's too early and you get a rejection. It's a rite of passage.

    The more I write, the more I know when I'm ready. Or when my ms is ready. When I've let it sit and come back and still can't find anything I'd change. When betas have read it. Crit partners have read it. And I've polished. When my query has been read by others and I've put it on forums and others don't find much to complain about. Then I'm close to being ready. :)

    Good luck!


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