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chracatoa
09-24-2016, 09:56 PM
I assume that an agent's inbox must be like the e-mail accounts we often create to handle subscriptions, annoying lists and any other type of spam: dozens or hundreds of e-mails showing up every day.

My question is: how to make our query stand out in the midst of the others? E.g.

"SFWC Request - Title - Genre"
"Requested material from SFWC" (generic)
etc.

Katrina S. Forest
09-24-2016, 10:33 PM
Look over the material you got at the conference; if the agents have specific guidelines for submissions from that conference, it will say so in their bios. Assuming there's no info, though, I think the first one is fine. (I always like to have the title of my submission in the subject line, especially if it's requested material.)

Old Hack
09-24-2016, 11:53 PM
Don't pretend that your work was requested if it wasn't: that's an easy way to get an automatic rejection.

If your work was requested, or you have a referral, then say so in your subject line:

REQUESTED MATERIAL: Title, by Author Name

or


REFERRAL: Title, by Author Name

(Is that how you spell "referral"? I need to check. It looks wrong.)

chracatoa
09-25-2016, 12:55 AM
Yeah, I know. I've been polishing the book and it's time to start querying again. I'm following up on half a dozen requests from a conference.

One interesting tip I got from an agent was to not submit it immediately after the conference since they are buried in queries after they come back from them. He told me to follow his blog and check if he's in any other conferences as well, since this happens in every one of them.

Old Hack
09-25-2016, 11:56 AM
Waiting is fine if that's what you want to do: but agents are ALWAYS buried in submissions, and in my opinion all the waiting does is put you further behind the rest.

mellymel
09-25-2016, 08:16 PM
Yeah, I know. I've been polishing the book and it's time to start querying again. I'm following up on half a dozen requests from a conference.

One interesting tip I got from an agent was to not submit it immediately after the conference since they are buried in queries after they come back from them. He told me to follow his blog and check if he's in any other conferences as well, since this happens in every one of them.

Sorry, but that doesn't exactly make sense to me. If they have requested material from you, then it's going to be in your subject line and so it's not going to get buried anywhere. And as Old Hack said, they are ALWAYS inundated with submissions. By waiting, it just puts that many more queries in front of your own (provided you are querying the agent without a request or referral).

chracatoa
09-25-2016, 09:11 PM
It didn't matter anyway. I learned a lot during the conference and I had to fix my ms. It's funny, you think it's perfect until someone points out something that you either missed or didn't know about it, and suddenly the whole novel has to be fixed. This is the second time that happened to me and I hope it doesn't happen as often from now on. I mean, take your pick: hand holding, adverbs, show vs. tell, feelings, descriptions, etc. The story doesn't change but the narrative gets richer, although I still feel that sometimes I want to frantically tell a story quickly, damn it, I think, bitterly, as I write my post.

I almost gave up on pitching, but decided to do it anyway. For those that requested it, I told them I'd be working on it for a couple of months and this is why he said that. I think it makes sense in his case because he only accepts submissions from conferences.

@LeaLately
09-25-2016, 11:13 PM
It didn't matter anyway. I learned a lot during the conference and I had to fix my ms. It's funny, you think it's perfect until someone points out something that you either missed or didn't know about it, and suddenly the whole novel has to be fixed. This is the second time that happened to me and I hope it doesn't happen as often from now on. I mean, take your pick: hand holding, adverbs, show vs. tell, feelings, descriptions, etc. The story doesn't change but the narrative gets richer, although I still feel that sometimes I want to frantically tell a story quickly, damn it, I think, bitterly, as I write my post.

I almost gave up on pitching, but decided to do it anyway. For those that requested it, I told them I'd be working on it for a couple of months and this is why he said that. I think it makes sense in his case because he only accepts submissions from conferences.

Dont give up! This happened to me several times. I actually scrapped a couple of manuscripts in the process or did complete rewrites. Those manuscripts now reside in the hard drives of dead laptops or are collecting dust on shelves. It's only with this latest MS that I haven't given up because I finally KNOW this is the one. Just keep plugging away. And to answer your question, if the agent doesn't have specific guidelines and they requested your sub, I always include in the subject line that it was requested. eg. Subject: #PitMad Request - THESE LIPS TELL LIES [68k YA Sci-fi]