View Full Version : Query Editions After You're Published

03-11-2016, 02:26 AM
When I queried agents the first time around (my agent retired after we sold my last book), I sent out 6 queries and based on some of the agent comments, I changed the query and sent out six more. I was on round 3 when I started to get interest and could see, clearly, how round 3 queries were so much stronger than round 1 queries.

When I first pitched - back in 2007 - I just wanted a reputable agent who would sign me and same for publisher (not that I didn't get a great agent and publisher, but I would have settled for less). I have offers for my next book but really want to see what I can do with a great agent and maybe a bigger publisher, so I'm being more selective in both agent and publisher this time.

I know that being a published author can cut both ways so I have no illusion that it will help me (and may even hurt me) with agents, but I am not sure if I should use the same approach to the query this time around. I have a "pretty good" query ready, but don't know if I should approach it differently this time. Any thoughts?

03-11-2016, 02:37 AM
Do you mean approach differently in your methodology of "send a batch, tweak, send a batch"? If you know there's a better query in you, I'm not sure why I'd waste a batch. I think things have changed a lot in 9 years and you aren't that likely to get feedback with which to tweak nowaddays. You're more likely to get quick form R's or hear nothing at all from those uninterested. Of course, that seems to be the experience in the fiction realm. Are you querying NF?

03-11-2016, 03:10 AM
Yes. Non-fiction. I remember someone telling me that my book sounded as if it was trying to be all things to all people, which it wasn't and I changed the query to show that it was - indeed - focused. Those small comments did help me along.

When I was first querying, people did say to only expect canned rejections and I received a majority of those, but the ones who took the time to ask questions or make comments were very helpful. At the time I thought my first query was the best, most polished thing ever but after 2 rounds I could see where it needed work. But I could not see it on round 1.

There is very little on how to query as a published author and what I have found, it doesn't sound as if it really help (in some instances, it could hurt, a lot). Right now I'm trying to figure out how to approach it and if it needs to be much different than the first time.

Thank you for your response.

03-11-2016, 03:29 AM
I'm just curious, did your agent leave you with a list of recommended agents?

As an unpublished author I'm deluded enough to think that being able to say "I've published X and Y" would be the cat's meow, but I know what you're saying. I've heard the same things from authors who had previous publishing experiences. It might be interesting to pose that part of your question to Michael Carr, who is answering questions in his own Ask the Agent thread. He might offer you some insight.

And of course you could run the query through QLH in the Share Your Work area. You'll get a wide array of feedback, but you should be able to determine if there's a consensus as to particular strengths or weaknesses of your query before you start sending any out.

Best of luck with your search. :)

03-11-2016, 05:44 AM
No, I didn't even know she was retiring. I received a letter from the agency.

Thanks much for your feedback. I will take your suggestions!