A Writer’s Life- Querying
Here’s an update for those who like to keep up with my writing. I am currently querying three manuscripts. If you’re not a writer, you probably have no clue what that means. Querying is the process of trying to find a literary agent. It involves a lot of emailing a lot of rejection.
Querying works like this: an author gets a short email to pitch their book, and then, depending on the agent’s guidelines, 5-50 pages of the manuscript are also included. Hopefully, the agent likes the pitch well enough to read those pages. If they really like the pages, the agent will ask for more. Finally, if the agent loves the rest of the manuscript, they will offer to represent you and try to sell your book to publishers.
It sounds simpler than it is. Agents get hundreds of emails a month. Most only take on a few new clients per year. The vast majority of the time, the answer from the agent is no-if they even reply to the query at all. Because they get so many emails, a lot of agents no longer reply to rejections. The author is left to wait and assume that they’ve been rejected.
There are some agents out there who choose to take time out their busy schedules to explain why a particular project isn’t for them, however an author can’t expect this kind of feedback. The agents are just too busy.
I’ve met authors who sent more than 200 queries before they found an agent. I’ve met authors who only queried a few agents and they all said yes. It’s a crazy process, but hopefully, in the end, a rewarding one.
These are the projects I am querying right now:
Grace’s Ghosts is a middle grade fantasy novel. It’s a little bit creepy and full of magic adventure, humor, family, and friendship.
Toby: The (Mostly) True Story of a Former Bad Dog is a humorous chapter book. It’s a fictionalized story inspired by dogs I’ve known and loved.
Bigfoot in Space follows the Bigfoot Family as they leave Earth behind and search for a planet with more privacy. It’s a picture book.
I know some of you are thinking, Didn’t you self-publish your other books? Wouldn’t that be easier than going through all of this?
I did self-publish my other books. Unfortunately, I have regretted that from day one. It’s hard to break into the children’s market as a self-published author. While the Nellie Nova series has done well for an Indie project, I feel like I’d rather have an agent and a publisher on my side for future projects.
I’ll keep at the querying process and hopefully, with time, I’ll find the right agent. I can’t wait to see my manuscripts become published books!
Are you an author? Have you been in the querying trenches? Tell me about it in the comments!