Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sending Out Those Queries

You should all know by now that I've been querying agents for Hafan Deg. Already I've discovered some pitfalls. I don't know if it's a problem with my computer, or what.

Some agents are happy to have a one-page query with a short pitch. This is easy, although you long to include more. Others want extracts included. One page is easy, but ten pages? I tried to do this for one agent who wanted a full synopsis plus ten pages. By the way, the stipulation with ALL agents is that these extras are included in the body of the email, never as an attachment. Well, wouldn't you know it? That one time I tried this with all the extra pages, it bounced back with some technical reference that the email was too long. That can't be right, can it? I will persevere, of course. I hate giving up on anything that's half-tried.

Another odd thing happened. One agent, according to the comments on Query Tracker, is noted for having a full mailbox. I checked the website, and it clearly said it was accepting submissions, so off went my query. It bounced back with "Mailbox Full". Oh, well, I thought, I'll try again later. The very next morning I received a form rejection from them. So they HAD received it. How strange is that?

Needless to say, this was my first rejection. As all that agency saw was my brief "pitch", I'm not concerned; it's foolhardy to expect to knock the socks off everyone who sees it. No doubt this will become a regular thing.

I find it intriguing that my Geo-tracking-whatsit indicates a bunch of New York sites looking at my blog. Most of my queries have gone to New York. Is it possible? Could it be? Are some of them checking me out?

I'm not only using Query Tracker, by the way, although I must say it's a very convenient site. I've googled, checked book acknowledgements, and read lots of blogs. I've become so fond of some of those blogging agents, however, that I'm shy about approaching them now. I mean I've made comments there! Will they see my query and think that was the only reason I commented - just to get my name in front of them? So I haven't queried one of them yet. Me and my big mouth...

Basically, I don't mind this work. It IS work, though. I'd much rather be working on Strachan's Attic.

Oh, has anyone taken a look at the summary of that yet? I wondered if it had grabbed you in any way. I'd like to hear from you if it did, one way or the other.


Lapillus said...

I think the summary for Strachan's Attic sounds terribly interesting!

Several blogging agents have admitted to looking up authors who interest them in the query stage. I hope this is the case for you!

Keep us updated!

Melissa Marsh said...

Ok, I am COMPLETELY intrigued fro Strachan's Attic! I want to read it!

Fran said...

I'll try to get the first chapter up this week, but I can't promise. The Query things is so time-consuming.

Janet said...

Are your pages too long, perhaps? The industry standard is about 250 words per page. If you based your ten pages on single-spaced, 10-point font, you might be way, way past the 2500 words they're expecting.

Fran said...

I was careful to send 12pt double spaced. In any case, I re-sent it for the third time, with synopsis only, and no extra pages, and it still bounced back. Think the problem must be at the agency end.