Tag Archives | how to query

How to query with confidence.

Your manuscript sits. Waiting. Polished to a shine. Ready to go. Just a week ago you put the last bit of spit shine on it. Your mouse hovers over send. With one click your dreams could come true.

Stop. Right. There.

For some that might work. Go ahead and try it if you want.

Remember my posts about confidence and staying in a place of encouragement? Letting your manuscript sit for 4-6 weeks is a great way to do it. It sounds like a long time but…

  • This will give you perspective on your story and your query letter.
  • Use the time to research agents and get your list ready.
  • Start brainstorming and prewriting and plotting your next story!
  • Use the time to read, study and grow in craft.

After the 4-6 weeks, read through your story one more time. You’ll know if you’re ready to query. You might even catch an embarrassing typo on the first page.

It’s so hard to focus on plotting your story or writing when rejections are rolling in or you have full requests. But if you already feel that excitement about your new project and have the first few chapters written – the rejections are much easier to take. (I didn’t say easy – just easier.)

Guess what I’m doing? I’m letting my current wip sit until August. Who’s with me?

How long do you wait? Should we take into consideration the market? Is there ever a time to rush your submission?

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Yay! My crit partner signed with an agent – what we can learn from it.

I’m pretty sure you all know at this point who that is – Kris Asselin. She signed with Vickie Motter. Yay! Vickie has a great blog so go check it out and follow her.

And we can all learn from Kris’s experience. But I wanted to share her signing from a crit partner’s pov.

  • Kris has what it takes to make it in this industry. And she has been much too humble in her post on how she got an agent. The girl has skill and talent.
  • Kris is an incredibly fast learner. She picked up and applied elements of craft to her writing in a year what takes most people several to learn. Did she mention The Sweet Spot was her first novel? Yeah. Probably not. It was her first novel. Pretty cool.
  • From the very start Kris had amazing confidence. Not ego, confidence. She didn’t let rejections from high profile agents get her down. After receiving an incredible rejection letter with suggestions – she kept querying. Many would have stopped to rewrite. Many would have given up after the first 20, 30, 40 rejections. Kris kept chugging along. And she found Vickie on her 67th query.
  • She also used wisdom. She didn’t stop to rewrite or look at her query again because she was receiving plenty of requests for partials and fulls. Her query letter was solid. She has mad query letter skills so if you ever get a chance to win a crit from her– go for it!

I remember chatting about a year ago and mentioning that I could totally picture the cover for The Sweet Spot. And hopefully within the next couple years I will. She hit the “sweet spot” in the industry with her sweet story of a girl named Kate – with bunches of romance and mystery thrown in.

What can we learn?

  • Don’t query until you are completely confident in your manuscript.
  • Conversely, don’t keep fiddling with your manuscript until it’s perfect because it never will be.
  • Make sure your query letter is in tiptop shape. Visit forums, ask friends – but get it critiqued.
  • Keep up with industry blogs and interviews with agents.
  • Query widely. Don’t stop. Keep going. No matter how hard the journey.

For me, having my crit partner sign with an agent makes it real. It’s no longer some avatar on Twitter announcing she/he got an agent. It’s someone I know. I read her story and saw it in the infancy stages.

And I’m telling every aspiring writer out there. You can do it. Dreams are possible. Work hard and write. Be inspired.

My 200 followers celebration ends today at noon. The winner to be announced on Wednesday.

And check out Kris’s blog for an AMAZING celebration contest!  You won’t want to miss it.

Congrats and best of luck, Kris!

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