PDA

View Full Version : I. Want. To. QUERY!



PoppysInARow
05-06-2010, 04:16 AM
I've been a little stressed out lately. I believe the hardest part of the whole process, for me, is giving my book to beta readers. My book has been with betas since Febuary. I was hoping to be able to query at the beginning of June, but I'm starting to wonder if that's going to happen. My betas are great, trust me, but they're trudging along, taking their sweet time. I'm trying to be paitent, but I haven't heard from them in about three weeks, and it's starting to frustrate me.

I just want to query, but I don't want to start yet without their input! AH! Frustrated!

:e2thud:

[/endrant]

Ineti
05-06-2010, 04:57 AM
Can your betas buy your book or offer you a contract? No? Why wait for them? My suggestion would be to start querying and sending out the manuscript. If and when you get beta feedback, use that input to make your next project that much better.

Have faith in your work and don't wait for the betas. Get it in front of people who can make you an offer on it. :)

Good luck!

C.T. Richmond
05-06-2010, 06:48 AM
Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, Poppy!

Is there any way you can gently nudge your betas? Maybe you can bribe them with some chocolate-chip cookies or some other baked goods? :)

Hang in there!

cate townsend
05-06-2010, 08:06 AM
If my betas had my book for three months, I'd be worried that it wasn't holding their interest.

If your query letter is ready, then send it out. Don't wait. You might be waiting a lot longer for requests for more material.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
05-06-2010, 06:35 PM
Can your betas buy your book or offer you a contract? No? Why wait for them? My suggestion would be to start querying and sending out the manuscript. If and when you get beta feedback, use that input to make your next project that much better.

Have faith in your work and don't wait for the betas. Get it in front of people who can make you an offer on it. :)

Good luck!

I wouldn't. The feedback I got from both of mine was invaluable. I would have been mortified to send my WIP out without making their suggested changes. Both improved mine immeasurably.

Phaeal
05-06-2010, 10:31 PM
If you're sure your work is ready to bear professional scrutiny, send the queries out. If you're not sure, I think you need to find betas who can move faster. I can do a line-by-line plus a 5-10 page editorial letter in two-four weeks, and the two people I exchange work with can do the same for me. Three months plus is too long to be helpful.

If you're NOT asking for a line-by-line reading with detailed editorial notes, just for a read-through with impression, these betas are definitely not interested enough in your work to do you any good. A read-through for a normal length novel shouldn't take more than a couple of weeks.

Mystic Blossom
05-06-2010, 11:36 PM
Can your betas buy your book or offer you a contract? No? Why wait for them? My suggestion would be to start querying and sending out the manuscript. If and when you get beta feedback, use that input to make your next project that much better.

Have faith in your work and don't wait for the betas. Get it in front of people who can make you an offer on it. :)

Good luck!

"Having faith in one's work" doesn't mean blind faith, unfortunately. The whole reason we have betas is to point out the problems that we as the writers couldn't see. I say, never send ANYTHING out without having at least a couple of people look at it. If I had had more people read my stuff instead of saying, "Yup, this is great. Off to agents!" I might have a book published by now.

That said, if your betas are taking that long, nudge them, and find a couple others who might work faster. Sadly, you can't control others, but you can get a couple more readers.

Ineti
05-06-2010, 11:48 PM
I hold to Stephen King's idea of finding or cultivating one good trusted reader who will read my drafts and provide (timely) critical input before I revise and send.

More than that, and you run the risk of being forever stuck in the revise-beta-revise-beta circle, or you grow dependent on the affirmations and/or comments from betas.

At any rate, letting betas hold your work hostage for 3 months is ridiculous. Assuming one is writing for a career anyway. I wouldn't put my career on hold for three months. YMMV, naturally. ;)

sheadakota
05-06-2010, 11:56 PM
three months? Holy crap! I feel guilty when it takes me more than 1 week to do a beta read for someone! And that's for a line by line!

I would say get a different beta or hit the ones you have over the head-lol!

Mystic Blossom
05-07-2010, 12:01 AM
This is what I do. I post my work in the SYW Forum here (or request a beta in the beta forum, depending on the length), and I make a post on my Facebook asking if anyone wants to read it. I send it to anyone and everyone that asks, with a polite request to have it done by a certain date, and if not possible, to let me know. This way, a good chunk get back to me, and provide excellent feedback. I nudge the ones that don't, but ultimately there's always a couple that don't. That's fine. There's no such thing as being stuck in a beta-revise circle if you pull yourself out of it. I agree with King that having one person you really trust review your work is cool, but personally, I prefer multiple viewpoints.

I wouldn't put my career on hold for three months, either. I'd work on other stuff. I've NEVER had success with a piece that didn't get read by betas, but I've had plenty of success with pieces that did.

Not that I'm arguing or saying you're just plain wrong, but based on my experiences, I would highly advise the OP not to send things out until they've been read by at least one beta, though I wouldn't suggest sitting on her hands and waiting for them, either. There's other ways to be proactive besides sending out unreviewed work, though :)

Jamesaritchie
05-07-2010, 12:37 AM
I wouldn't. The feedback I got from both of mine was invaluable. I would have been mortified to send my WIP out without making their suggested changes. Both improved mine immeasurably.

Have you sold the book they made all these great suggestions on?

Mystic Blossom
05-07-2010, 12:43 AM
Have you sold the book they made all these great suggestions on?

I don't understand, James. Are you suggesting that Hip-Hop's beta provided bad advice? Because I'd feel better about a manuscript that had been read by a person or two instead of just myself.

zahra
05-07-2010, 12:45 AM
Yeah, I had this. One beta was quick, the other took too bloody long so I queried without him. Still waiting for results.

Still waitng for flippin beta, come to that.

PoppysInARow
05-07-2010, 03:31 AM
Thanks for all your responses.

Just for some info, I've had about 5-6 betas for this project. One dropped off, the other three got back to me very quick, and I'm down to my last two. One of my betas moved, so he was out of commision for a while, and the other has already read through my book once, (said she stayed up all night just to finish it) and is now doing line by line edits. I poked her and she said that she was sorry that it was taking her long but her life kinda flipped out of control.

I already got impaitent about a month back and sent one query out, which resulted in a full request. It was rejected three weeks later with more or less a form R. It really upset me because I put so much work into this novel over the months that it's been out to betas, and I really have high hopes for it.

I want to give it the best chance that it could get. I would normally not worry so much about betas, but my one (who read through and is doing line by line) is bloody fantastic. She's pulling plotholes from my book that I assume only professional editors would have otherwise caught. If it wasn't for her I would start querying, but I'm learning so much from her edits, likie how to spot these plotholes. My book will have the best chance possible once its finished.

I didn't think I'd spark a debate about betas. I was just blowing off some steam. :Shrug:

EagerReader
05-07-2010, 03:40 AM
I just had a freak out moment today because I got a request for a full, the same day I queried--didn't know that was possible--and I hadn't gotten the feedback from my most trusted source. Sent it in, then she gave me her feedback today. Ouch. There were things in there that screamed, what are you? A hack? So, my advice would be wait and save yourself the sore legs from kicking yourself in the butt.

Ineti
05-07-2010, 05:37 AM
I already got impaitent about a month back and sent one query out, which resulted in a full request. It was rejected three weeks later with more or less a form R. It really upset me because I put so much work into this novel over the months that it's been out to betas, and I really have high hopes for it.

I want to give it the best chance that it could get. I would normally not worry so much about betas, but my one (who read through and is doing line by line) is bloody fantastic. She's pulling plotholes from my book that I assume only professional editors would have otherwise caught. If it wasn't for her I would start querying, but I'm learning so much from her edits, likie how to spot these plotholes. My book will have the best chance possible once its finished.

I'm not sure I understand you. You sent it out and got a request for a full and got rejected, and then you sent it back to betas for more review and work?

Rejections happen all the time; it's part of the business. If it was good enough to get one full request, how many more could it have gotten before you pulled it back to beta?

Not telling you how to go about it here, but getting a full request is a good thing, indicating something was working. I hope your revisions don't take the life out of it. :) Good luck!

Mystic Blossom
05-07-2010, 06:03 AM
Just remember, Poppy. I know I said betas are important, but I don't mean they're everything. Work getting rejected might have nothing to do with bad or absent advice from a beta. I'd say, if you feel your work has seen enough eyes that aren't yours, then by all means, put it out there, but remember rejection happens to all of us.

PoppysInARow
05-07-2010, 06:05 AM
I'm not sure I understand you. You sent it out and got a request for a full and got rejected, and then you sent it back to betas for more review and work?

Rejections happen all the time; it's part of the business. If it was good enough to get one full request, how many more could it have gotten before you pulled it back to beta?

Not telling you how to go about it here, but getting a full request is a good thing, indicating something was working. I hope your revisions don't take the life out of it. :) Good luck!

Sorry if I was confusing. I sent the query out without telling my betas, before they were finished with it. After the R I decided to wait until the betas were done to send out any more queries. I understand rejection happens, but it just served to remind me that I should wait for my betas to be finished. I want to make it shine as much as it can.

PoppysInARow
05-07-2010, 06:07 AM
Just remember, Poppy. I know I said betas are important, but I don't mean they're everything. Work getting rejected might have nothing to do with bad or absent advice from a beta. I'd say, if you feel your work has seen enough eyes that aren't yours, then by all means, put it out there, but remember rejection happens to all of us.

I know, and thanks. :) It could be that he just detested the beginning, which was all polished and shiny, and loved the ending, which wasn't. :D Eitherway, I love the work my betas have been doing, even if they take their sweet time. I think I'll wait until they finish up before I'll send it out again.

ETA: By the way, I love your avatar.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
05-08-2010, 07:42 AM
Have you sold the book they made all these great suggestions on?

No, it's the first one listed in my signature, and I haven't started sending it out yet. The betas found such good stuff for me to look for that I've been checking the manuscript over for similar types of word groupings etc and polishing as I go along.

I also have a weird situation in that, if an agent did accept my work relatively quickly and wanted to begin sending it out to publishers, it might look too much like I am trying to work. I'm forbidden from working in Canada until I get a work permit. I'm not comfortable sending my stuff out yet until I'm legal. It's just a personal thing for me.

nitaworm
05-08-2010, 08:08 AM
Betas are extremely important. If they aren't finished the entire manuscript, have them send feedback for the first 50 pages. Fix those while working on your query letter, then send out your letters.