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Kelsey
10-12-2012, 07:02 PM
How many queries do you send out at one time? Do you start from the top of your wish list, or test the waters first?

retlaw
10-12-2012, 07:14 PM
I'll follow what other say on this topic with interest; however, my personal take on it is this:

If you have done some research and have a specific agent targeted, _by all means_, do what that agent requires. If your research has given you multiple agents to target, and none of them expect exclusive review rights... I see nothing wrong with submitting a query letter to all of them.

I do keep a list of agents I'd like to submit to but require exclusive review rights. If none of the agents I initially contacted reply positively, then I submit - one-by-one - to these agents.


hth

mayqueen
10-12-2012, 07:27 PM
I created a giant list and ranked the agents with a star system on how matched I thought they would be. I started with my super top agents, which actually now I regret. I would say test the waters a little bit by sending batches of three to five queries every week. Then start sending out the queries to your dream agents. But I strongly recommend small batches, in case you catch a problem.

Sage
10-12-2012, 07:28 PM
I usually send out a test batch to agents I like and know respond fairly-ish quickly. I start with 5, might go to 10. Depending on their response to my query, I either revise or start sending more aggressively, including to my favorite agents. But I've stopped taking a good query response as an excuse to query everyone all at once, because then you still might get notes with rejections that you want to implement and not having queried everyone so quickly leaves you agents to query after revisions in that case.

retlaw
10-12-2012, 07:45 PM
Sage - when you say "revisions" do you mean to your query letter, or to your MS? Or, perhaps, both??


I usually send out a test batch to agents I like and know respond fairly-ish quickly. I start with 5, might go to 10. Depending on their response to my query, I either revise or start sending more aggressively, including to my favorite agents. But I've stopped taking a good query response as an excuse to query everyone all at once, because then you still might get notes with rejections that you want to implement and not having queried everyone so quickly leaves you agents to query after revisions in that case.

Sage
10-12-2012, 07:51 PM
The first time I meant to the query. The second time I meant to the novel.

Cyia
10-12-2012, 08:02 PM
For me:

Start at the top of your list. If you get an offer, you're not going to have time to rush and query your "first picks" after the fact.

Start with small batches of 5-10. If you get a rejection, then you can either send out another query, or wait to see how many rejections come in. If they're all rejections, then you might need to tweak things for your next round of queries.

Kelsey
10-12-2012, 08:09 PM
Interesting. Thank you all so much for your responses -- keep them coming! I'm finally at the ready-to-query stage!

retlaw
10-12-2012, 09:00 PM
Congrats! Feels like a load off doesn't it!!! :D

Best of luck!


Interesting. Thank you all so much for your responses -- keep them coming! I'm finally at the ready-to-query stage!

rlynnsolomon
10-12-2012, 09:22 PM
Sounds like I do the same thing as a bunch of others -- I send out a first batch of 5-10 to test the waters (did this on Monday!). I've gotten one form rejection and one full request so far, surprisingly. I figure I'll send in a bigger batch if it seems like I'm getting any bites -- and if not, then I know to revise!

The request was from a query + first ten pages, and the rejection was off only a query. I know that's not a large sample size, but it could be that my query's weaker than the first ten.

Good luck to you, Kelsey!

NicolaD
10-13-2012, 01:52 AM
What the others have said, probably batches of around 5 is a good number. Just make sure you've done your research and that they rep your genre/are currently accepting queries/making sales etc.

Also keep in mind, response time from agents greatly vary. When I was querying it ranged from less than an hour to three weeks later. But fast/slow doesnt necessarily equate to love/hate. It might be read query day or they could be involved in several squillion dollar deals/away at a conference etc etc.

Good luck!! :)

WeaselFire
10-13-2012, 02:40 AM
I used to do three at a time, but that was by snail mail. By email, 10 is a decent amount, five if you have tightly selected the group. The worst part is waiting for the last one or two to respond. By snail mail I used to include a SASE postcard with a simple response for them to return, no need to send back the manuscript. That usually got me returns in a reasonably quick time frame. Not sure how you can do something similar with email.

Jeff

Persevere
10-14-2012, 02:42 AM
Don't get so worried about dream agents. Unless you're in a very narrow genre, there are probably dozens of agents (or more) that could represent you well. I e-query at least ten at a time, maybe 15. Half you will never hear from. Of those you do hear from, at least half will be form rejections. Of those who request, half you will never hear from. So out of 15 queries, you may have one or two who, if they pass (and they probably will) might give you some good feedback.

The first time I had a full MS requested I was so excited. The first time I had someone ask for an exclusive, I was so excited. Then they both passed. It is tough out there. Don't pin all your hopes on a few "dream agents." Query widely.

Susan Littlefield
10-14-2012, 02:51 AM
For me:

Start at the top of your list. If you get an offer, you're not going to have time to rush and query your "first picks" after the fact.

Start with small batches of 5-10. If you get a rejection, then you can either send out another query, or wait to see how many rejections come in. If they're all rejections, then you might need to tweak things for your next round of queries.

This.

Always start with tops agents and work your way down.

Mom
10-15-2012, 05:11 PM
I always start at the top. As for how many at once, it depends on how long your list of possible agents is for your work. IMO, the shorter your list, the smaller the individual batches.

For my WIP, which I hope to be ready to query in a couple of months, I plan to query one agent a week or two before I send out my first "full batch" of queries. It's an agent I really admire and I enjoy her personality too. She came close on my previous book, had suggested some great revisions, but ultimately passed once I submitted the requested revisions. I think she'd be an excellent fit for my new novel (I'm hoping!) so if she is at all interested, I'd want to hear back from her first. So for this new book, I'm sending out just one query at a time for the first round... but I normally wouldn't do that.

Portia
11-13-2012, 04:37 AM
I do about three a week. It takes me that long to do the research, then customize the cover letter and the submission pages according to the agent's guidelines. And I start out with the agents at the top, too. Though that list could change based on new research I do.

profen4
11-13-2012, 05:43 AM
I'd query 5-10 to start, and I'd query my top choices first. If I was getting a good % of full requests, I'd send out larger batches. ao nguc vera (http://doxinh.com/danh-muc/thuong-hieu-do-lot/hang-vera/ao-nguc-vera/) ao lot nam goi cam (http://doxinh.com.vn/danh-muc/do-lot-nam/ao-lot-nam/) tui ngu cao cap cho be (http://doxinh.vn/danh-muc/do-dung-cho-be/tui-ngu-cho-be/) vest cong so nu (http://trangbanbuon.com/danh-muc/thoi-trang-cong-so/vest-cong-so/) ao so mi nu (http://trangbanbuon.vn/danh-muc/thoi-trang-cong-so/ao-so-mi-cong-so/) cho thue trang phuc (http://roses.vn/)

Meems
11-13-2012, 06:05 AM
Don't get so worried about dream agents. Unless you're in a very narrow genre, there are probably dozens of agents (or more) that could represent you well. I e-query at least ten at a time, maybe 15. Half you will never hear from. Of those you do hear from, at least half will be form rejections. Of those who request, half you will never hear from. So out of 15 queries, you may have one or two who, if they pass (and they probably will) might give you some good feedback.

The first time I had a full MS requested I was so excited. The first time I had someone ask for an exclusive, I was so excited. Then they both passed. It is tough out there. Don't pin all your hopes on a few "dream agents." Query widely.

True facts right here. Whatever you do, do not pin your hopes on dream agents. Don't google them when they request a full and find out that they have a summer home in Martha's Vineyard and day dream for days and days about how after you've won your Pulitzer and y'all are great friends you'll be sitting on the balcony of that house looking out at the sunset on the water and drinking wine while you two laugh about how a silly query brought you to that point.

Whatever else you do, do not do this.

tko
11-15-2012, 08:57 PM
I simple filter the list of agents by my genre, and go through them alphabetically (random would be even better.) Each query batch gets some great ones, some OK, some I probably don't want.

Why? Because the other options don't work. If your query is bad at the start, and you use up all your grade A agents, you're screwed. If your query is great, and you get a ton of offers from agents who you were testing the waters with, it sucks (are you going to turn them all down, and frantically send out a new batch of queries to your best agents?) Seems like a diverse group gives you the most feedback; the best odds of success, especially if you are a new author who isn't confident of their own abilities yet.

adm
11-15-2012, 10:59 PM
I did ten at a time. I wish I did less or stopped sooner. I realized my work needed some editing. It has been over a year and I will probably re-query some of them.

mayqueen
11-15-2012, 11:55 PM
I simple filter the list of agents by my genre, and go through them alphabetically (random would be even better.) Each query batch gets some great ones, some OK, some I probably don't want.

Why? Because the other options don't work. If your query is bad at the start, and you use up all your grade A agents, you're screwed. If your query is great, and you get a ton of offers from agents who you were testing the waters with, it sucks (are you going to turn them all down, and frantically send out a new batch of queries to your best agents?) Seems like a diverse group gives you the most feedback; the best odds of success, especially if you are a new author who isn't confident of their own abilities yet.
I like this approach. I said test the waters because I blew most of my dream agents in my first (bad) query and unrevised manuscript. (I thought it was done. Newbie mistake.)

profen4
11-16-2012, 12:48 AM
I simple filter the list of agents by my genre, and go through them alphabetically (random would be even better.) Each query batch gets some great ones, some OK, some I probably don't want.

Why? Because the other options don't work. If your query is bad at the start, and you use up all your grade A agents, you're screwed. If your query is great, and you get a ton of offers from agents who you were testing the waters with, it sucks (are you going to turn them all down, and frantically send out a new batch of queries to your best agents?) Seems like a diverse group gives you the most feedback; the best odds of success, especially if you are a new author who isn't confident of their own abilities yet.


I know you want to test out your query, but really, agents are not the focus group you want to use. I really think the best thing an author can do is query their top choices first. Anything else is kind of like playing games with people, and that sort of thing will eventually put the author in a less than ideal situation.
do lot vera (http://doxinh.com/danh-muc/thuong-hieu-do-lot/hang-vera/) ao lot nam sieu mong (http://doxinh.com.vn/danh-muc/do-lot-nam/ao-lot-nam/) tui ngu cho be (http://doxinh.vn/danh-muc/do-dung-cho-be/tui-ngu-cho-be/) thoi trang cong so nu (http://trangbanbuon.com/danh-muc/thoi-trang-cong-so/) ao so mi cong so (http://trangbanbuon.vn/danh-muc/thoi-trang-cong-so/ao-so-mi-cong-so/) chup anh cho be re dep (http://roses.vn/)
Remember, the idea of the query is to convey your story and offer an brief explanation for why you think Agent-X is the best fit for it. That's it. If you've done your homework on the agents, you have a good shot of getting a request for more material. At that point your writing will have to speak for itself.

IkhlasHussain
11-22-2012, 10:54 PM
Hahaha I really enjoyed reading this, since come on, I'm sure we ALL have done this at some point or another, even before our work is even represented by an agent.

Definitely some great insight here as I too am planning on entering the query stage soon.



True facts right here. Whatever you do, do not pin your hopes on dream agents. Don't google them when they request a full and find out that they have a summer home in Martha's Vineyard and day dream for days and days about how after you've won your Pulitzer and y'all are great friends you'll be sitting on the balcony of that house looking out at the sunset on the water and drinking wine while you two laugh about how a silly query brought you to that point.

Whatever else you do, do not do this.

Transatlantic
11-26-2012, 11:34 PM
I've queried a few dozen agents in this second round of querying. This is probably going to be my last gasp, on this book, anyway. After hearing so many people say they queried 150 agents before getting an offer, I want to make sure my query crosses the desk of every agent who seems like a possible match.

Do people think this is a bad idea?

I've worked on this damn book for six years, and I've just spent the last year rewriting, and I don't think I have it in me to do it again. So if they don't like it now, I guess it won't matter if I've used up my chances (I stopped after 17 queries the first time so as not to do that).

profen4
11-27-2012, 01:51 AM
I've queried a few dozen agents in this second round of querying. This is probably going to be my last gasp, on this book, anyway. After hearing so many people say they queried 150 agents before getting an offer, I want to make sure my query crosses the desk of every agent who seems like a possible match.

Do people think this is a bad idea?

I've worked on this damn book for six years, and I've just spent the last year rewriting, and I don't think I have it in me to do it again. So if they don't like it now, I guess it won't matter if I've used up my chances (I stopped after 17 queries the first time so as not to do that).

As long as your query is generating some requests for partial or full manuscript, I would think you'd be good to query all the agents you would like to work with. If you're getting rejected off your query, however, I'd revise that before querying too widely. do boi nam cao cap (http://doxinh.com/danh-muc/do-boi/do-boi-nam/) quan ao nam han quoc (http://doxinh.com.vn/danh-muc/quan-ao-thoi-trang/quan-ao-nam/) mu so sinh cho be (http://doxinh.vn/danh-muc/do-so-sinh-cho-be/mu-so-sinh/) vay lien cong so nu (http://trangbanbuon.com/danh-muc/thoi-trang-cong-so/vay-lien-cong-so/) vay lien cong so nu (http://trangbanbuon.vn/danh-muc/thoi-trang-cong-so/vay-lien-cong-so/) chup anh ky niem ngay cuoi (http://roses.vn/studio/chup-anh-studio/chup-anh-ky-niem/)