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aus10phile
04-17-2014, 09:34 PM
My query is doing it's job of getting me requests. Right now I have 6 fulls out and 2 partials. I can't decide what the best strategy is at this point. I keep changing my mind and would love to hear what others think. Do I:

A) Wait and see what kind of response I get on the fulls/partials? This way, if there's something that's not working right in the book, I haven't burned through a ton of agents.

OR

B) Keep querying because I know my query works, and this way I increase my chances of my manuscript reaching an agent who's going to love it?

For the data-minded, here are my stats:
Began querying with this version of my query 3/21. Sent out in batches of 5-6 each week since then for a total of 23 queries sent out. 9 requests (6 full, 3 partial), 3 form rejections, the rest are no responses yet. One rejected partial so far with the feedback of "I enjoyed reading it. While your pages are interesting and I like your story concept, this needs to start a little faster and really 'hook' the reader, in my view. I wish you the best in finding the right agent who can successfully champion your project."

Siri Kirpal
04-17-2014, 11:00 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

If it were me, I'd wait for feedback. But it's equally fine to keep going. Your call.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Kerosene
04-17-2014, 11:09 PM
I'd keep querying, though it does sound like you're not all that confident in your query, nor the MS. Maybe feedback would be better--but still, you're burning through agents if you're not 100% confident (you might have queried before your MS was ready).

aus10phile
04-17-2014, 11:18 PM
I'd keep querying, though it does sound like you're not all that confident in your query, nor the MS. Maybe feedback would be better--but still, you're burning through agents if you're not 100% confident (you might have queried before your MS was ready).

I'm not worried about the query at this point, because I know it's getting requests.

The ms on the other hand... well, I'm as confident as I can be, I think, for someone who has never published any fiction. I'm confident that the way I have it right now is the way I intended it to be... but it's hard not to worry that it's maybe not good enough, or there are things that should be better. I've prepped as well as I can. Revised it extensively, got feedback from 6 beta readers. But the bar is so high...

thedark
04-17-2014, 11:27 PM
I just wanted to randomly pop by and say... congratulations on querying, and I'm so glad the query is successful!

Happiness to you! :)

(and I'd yet wait)

Kerosene
04-17-2014, 11:42 PM
The ms on the other hand... well, I'm as confident as I can be, I think, for someone who has never published any fiction. I'm confident that the way I have it right now is the way I intended it to be... but it's hard not to worry that it's maybe not good enough, or there are things that should be better. I've prepped as well as I can. Revised it extensively, got feedback from 6 beta readers. But the bar is so high...

I would probably collect a couple dozen beta-readers (I already have 5 alpha readers), and post the opening to the SYW section, and then revise the query to hell and back in QLH. Though, these are my high standards.

To what that agent said about hooking the reader, you might want to drop the opening chapter into the SYW section to see what the critics have to say. Sometimes an opening just doesn't work, and a point in the right direction can be invaluable.

Quickbread
04-17-2014, 11:47 PM
Congrats on the great responses! I'd personally recommend waiting for more feedback to see if you get similar comments on the slow start or hook/tension level. If you decide it's an issue, that would definitely be worth fixing before querying deeper into your agent list because those are both compelling reasons for agents to reject work or, if you're lucky, ask for an R&R. So you might as well wait a little longer to see if it's one agent's take or a prevailing opinion.

Or you might decide on your own that the one agent was right and want to revise, in which case, you'll benefit from still having some great agents on your list to query later.

suki
04-18-2014, 12:14 AM
This is a gut check question. Here are the pros and cons as I see to sending more queries:

Pros -- (1) More agents in the mix may mean more chance of an offer. (2) If you get an offer from one of the agents with your query/manuscript, you can notify the rest, but you won't really be able to query any yet unqueried agents. Anyone you haven't queried is out of the running. So, if there is a yet unqueried agent you would definitely want in the mix, you are risking not even being able to query them if you wait.

Cons -- On the other hand, if none of this round turns into offers or R&Rs, then who is left to query? And what if you receive helpful feedback -- ie, a few more agents say the beginning is too slow. You might find yourself with helpful, consistent feedback, but no one left to send the revised manuscript to. Sure you can requery, but it's risky. Some agents won't want to see a requery at all.

So...there are risks either way.

When I was querying and hit this point, I decided to go ahead and query more. BUT, I still kept some in my pocket just in case.

good luck!

~suki

Sage
04-18-2014, 12:35 AM
Your query's definitely doing it's thing. Don't touch it.

It's kind of a balance, and you have the two options right there in your post. You have a lot of submissions out there, so you'll probably get feedback if not an offer, but more queries out there makes it more likely you'll find the agent who falls in love with it enough to offer. Then again, I've had some queries with great success, where all my fulls turned into rejections with very little feedback or where it felt like the feedback came too late.

So, in the end, it's what you're comfortable with. I kind of feel like with 9 requests (wtg!), I might wait a while. But my full responses average 3 months or longer, so I don't blame you if you get impatient and start querying again.

aus10phile
04-18-2014, 01:19 AM
Well, at least from the varied responses here, I can see there's not a "right" answer here, and it's more of a judgment call. Thanks everyone for the opinions! It makes me feel a bit less crazy.

I'm definitely starting to overanalyze things.... like I'm wondering, if a few agents asked for a sample of 25 or 50 pages with the query and then requested the full, did they likely read all those pages, or just read enough to know they were interested? Because if they read all of it... then maybe I shouldn't be stressing about that one agent's feedback on the opening. But if they didn't, it's irrelevant. It's all pointless to think about, because there's no way to know the answer.

There's a big part of me that wants to just keep querying, because it makes me feel like I'm actively doing something to help this book while I'm playing the waiting game. But then there's a rational part of me that says, if the query works now, it will probably work in 3 months, so what's the harm in waiting for some responses to the fulls & partials, as long as I've queried all my top agent picks, per suki's point.

Sage
04-18-2014, 01:31 AM
Querying feels very satisfying while you're waiting on requests, that's for sure. Also, then if you get responses, your e-mail dings and you can be excited for a second (or longer!), and then you're waiting again.

*has played the game a lot*

BBBurke
04-18-2014, 01:42 AM
Here are my thoughts, with absolutely no experience to back them up :)

It sounds like the query is working, I wouldn't change it. I'd make sure the agents that are at the top of my list are looking at it. If you've already queried them and some have the full, then I'd probably wait a bit for their reaction. If not, I'd send out a few more queries to agents that I'd really like to take a look at it.

Think of it this way: if one of the agents with a full gives you an offer, would you take it? Or would you be worried they aren't the agent you really want?

Either way, congratulations and best of luck!

Putputt
04-18-2014, 02:35 AM
I would probably collect a couple dozen beta-readers (I already have 5 alpha readers), and post the opening to the SYW section, and then revise the query to hell and back in QLH. Though, these are my high standards.

To what that agent said about hooking the reader, you might want to drop the opening chapter into the SYW section to see what the critics have to say. Sometimes an opening just doesn't work, and a point in the right direction can be invaluable.

I'm confused. . . Why change the query? 9 requests or of 23 is an awesome rate. I wouldn't touch the query.

OP, you have a few choices here, and I'm by no means an expert, but you could:

-Post the opening chapter on SYW, if you haven't already done that.
-Sit tight and wait for an update from one of the agents.
-Send out a query whenever you get a form reject.

Since a few agents requested the full after requesting the partial, I think that's a sign that the opening chapters have potential, so try not to worry too much. Congrats on the awesome request rate!

Fizgig
04-18-2014, 04:33 AM
I'm in almost the exact same boat. 1 partial was rejected with some great feedback that I have already incorporated. 2 partials have now turned into fulls for me. Then I have a few more fulls and partials out.

I was sort of slowing down on my querying, but then I realized that many of the agents I would query now won't get back to me for a few weeks (I queried most of the fast responders earlier). So I just sent out another batch...though to be honest I did it mostly to divert my attention from waiting to hear back on my fulls. One agent I'm very, very hopeful about and waiting was making me go a little cuckoopants.

Ferret
04-18-2014, 05:38 AM
Think of it this way: if one of the agents with a full gives you an offer, would you take it? Or would you be worried they aren't the agent you really want?


I think this is a really important point. If you'd be happy with offers from the agents who currently have your manuscript, I think you're probably better off waiting for a while. If not, maybe you should query some of your top choice agents (but probably not all of them).

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

Relayer
04-18-2014, 06:29 AM
Here's my 2 cents. I had the same situation with my first novel. I had an awesome query hook. Even with zero writing credentials the novel got read everywhere, and had two agents. But alas, the work was not up to the hype. It was a great experience, but a query is not a book. I say, hold off. Get your feedback. You're half way there. Take the time to make it your best work so that not only agents want it - which imo means little - publishers want it. Good luck. I think you're going to fine!

tko
04-18-2014, 09:36 AM
If I was in your position, here's what I'd be asking myself.

If an agent offers me representation today, am I ready to accept?

That is, if your novel is in the hands of some great agents you'd jump at instantly, maybe I'd just wait for their feedback. But, if you've been kind of tentative, testing the waters, now would be a good time to jump in all the way.

Also, don't many agents ask for exclusivity on fulls? How many can you have out at once?

Kerosene
04-18-2014, 09:56 AM
I'm confused. . . Why change the query? 9 requests or of 23 is an awesome rate. I wouldn't touch the query.

I never said anything about changing the query. If it works, it works.

ap123
04-18-2014, 04:15 PM
aus10, I'm in a similar position. The waiting feels like s-l-o-w torture.

This, in turn, makes me want to send a gazillion queries so I can see action in my inbox. That said, I'm on hold from querying until I hear back on at least a couple of the fulls that are out, because I think it's the better business decision.

In the meantime, I'm thankful for good writing friends who are putting up with my whining and sniveling.

aus10phile
04-18-2014, 04:30 PM
Also, don't many agents ask for exclusivity on fulls? How many can you have out at once?

No one has asked for exclusivity yet. One has asked if any other agents are looking at it. Two asked to be notified and given a chance to respond before accepting an offer from another agent. It seems like that should be standard practice by authors, but I guess some people must not do this, otherwise agents wouldn't feel the need to bring it up.




This, in turn, makes me want to send a gazillion queries so I can see action in my inbox. That said, I'm on hold from querying until I hear back on at least a couple of the fulls that are out, because I think it's the better business decision.


Yeah... I'm becoming convinced based on everyone's feedback here that waiting is best. I think I may send out queries to one or two more agents I'd be really interested in working with but haven't queried yet, and then let it rest. As it is, I'd be very happy with several who have the ms now, so waiting seems like a good idea.

Thanks for all the advice everyone!

Sage
04-18-2014, 04:31 PM
Also, don't many agents ask for exclusivity on fulls? How many can you have out at once?

Very few ask for exclusivity, fortunately

Putputt
04-18-2014, 04:41 PM
I never said anything about changing the query. If it works, it works.

Ah. I was confused by you saying that you'd "revise the query to hell and back in QLH" because her query has been through QLH. :D

Niiicola
04-18-2014, 10:04 PM
I'm in the same boat as you, so I got nothing. The waiting is this extra special mix of excitement/frustration/impatience/boredom/neurosis. Fun stuff, isn't it? Hang in there!

FlaDan
04-19-2014, 05:23 PM
I have the reverse problem. My readers loved the book but no hits on my first round of queries. I think I need to hit the SYW for query help.

aus10phile
04-19-2014, 08:02 PM
I have the reverse problem. My readers loved the book but no hits on my first round of queries. I think I need to hit the SYW for query help.

It was super helpful for me! I posted several versions of my query there. In total, I wrote 20 drafts before getting to the one that's working for me.

You can start by critiquing others' query letters in the forum to get up to 50 posts. It really helped me with mine, and it's had the unexpected side effect of helping me sharpen my plots/stories for future projects.

FlaDan
04-19-2014, 10:24 PM
Sounds like a great plan. Next stop SYW Query

JoyMC
04-19-2014, 11:53 PM
You've gotten a ton of great responses and the answer that there is no right answer. :D I will just add this - with the manuscript that got me my agent, I had gotten 11 requests for the full, and six of those had already come back as rejections before I got my offer from my agent (five months into querying). A couple of them had mentioned a slow start, but I felt strongly that it was right for the manuscript and left it. And I still signed with an amazing agent who had been in my first batch of queries.

I've heard of people holding back so that if they get feedback on the full they can do revisions and have more agents to query, but honestly, I queried multiple manuscripts. I had 47 requests, total. I can think of twice when I got feedback on a full that prompted a substantial revision. It's less and less common.

Mandel
04-20-2014, 12:14 AM
I'm in a situation that's a bit similar, which might be helpful to add to the advice pile. I sent out about a dozen queries and have had a couple of partial requests and 4 fulls. I just received a rejection from a great agent (my #1 choice) with some generous criticism that made a great deal of sense. And now I am fairly sure that he is right and my novel has a major flaw that I just didn't see earlier on. I'm not querying any longer, and if the three agents who have the full don't bite, I'm going to go back to rewrites. If I had kept on querying, I would have burned the other bridges left to me for when I'm ready to send the manuscript out again.

Mr. Anonymous
04-21-2014, 07:54 AM
I'm definitely starting to overanalyze things.... like I'm wondering, if a few agents asked for a sample of 25 or 50 pages with the query and then requested the full, did they likely read all those pages, or just read enough to know they were interested? Because if they read all of it... then maybe I shouldn't be stressing about that one agent's feedback on the opening. But if they didn't, it's irrelevant. It's all pointless to think about, because there's no way to know the answer.

I would never stress about one agent's feedback. Everyone has different reading tastes, expectations, prejudices, etc. If a consensus begins to emerge, however, that's different.

TerryRodgers
04-25-2014, 09:03 PM
Congrats on your ratio success. Having that many out puts you in a good position. I started in a similar position except not quite your ratio. I sent out 45 queries, which turned into 7 fulls and 5 partials. 2 of the fulls and 2 of the partials declined. The best part, is 3 of the fulls and 2 of the partials turned into R&Rs. When the R&Rs started happening is when I stopped querying. I didn't want to take a chance and blow any more queries. So maybe give it a few weeks, continue working on something else, and enjoy the success.