I am currently querying my most recent book, “Playing with Fire.” I submitted my first round of queries on Saturday, September 17. This in an of itself was a chore. Figuring out which agencies to submit to, then which agents, then their submission guidelines…whew! Here is a run down of my process:
1. Search AgentQuery for AAR member agents who represent Young Adult fiction.
2. Plug the results (80 agents! Sounds like a lot, but the starting number was around 248.) into a spreadsheet. Arrange alphabetically.
3. Search Preditors and Editors for the agent/agency.
4. Group agents in spreadsheet according to P&E results
5. Search submission guidelines, email addresses, etc for each agent. Plug these into my spreadsheet.
6. Email first twelve agents my query, adding the date queried in my spreadsheet.
I could add a step 7. “Realize I sent only a query to three agents who requested the first few pages and fret about whether they would accept my submission”, but I’m not planning on making this a typical blunder. Of course prior to step one came the repeated tweaking of my query until I got it in somewhat decent shape.
Now I wait. I’m extremely grateful to the agents who have already responded, and grateful to every agent out there plugging away reading the queries of the countless writers begging for their work to be accepted. For each response I receive, I dutifully enter it into my spreadsheet with the date, and email them a polite message back. After a few weeks I’ll move down the list and query the next batch.
In the meantime, I shall focus on the dreaded synopsis and on my new work in progress. After I finished “Playing with Fire” (2 full drafts with beta readers on each and a final polish), I felt empty. There was a void inside me. An empty feeling that must be close to a parent sending their child off to college. My baby is all grown up and out on its own now.
So what am I to do? Start a new one of course. I’m pretty excited about it, but nervous as well. It’s an idea my dad came up with while he was battling cancer. One I’ve been putting off because I’m afraid I won’t do it justice. I wrote the first chapter yesterday, though, and posted it on the Absolute Writer’s forum for thoughts. I must say, I’m pretty happy with the feedback I received. Happy enough to keep pushing forward. Hopefully, it will keep my mind occupied while I wait for agents to respond.
Currently reading: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey.