View Full Version : What to do between query bursts

06-23-2017, 02:44 AM
Some weeks ago, someone advised me to send queries in bursts of about six per week or two. And then, after each bunch of queries, go back and re-evaluate, and touch up.

I've been pondering that advice, at first thinking I could do that, and then it occurred to me: What am I supposed to DO in between the groups of queries?

It seemed to me that before a query, I ought to get everything in to tip-top shape, going over it so many times that I really couldn't think of anything additional I wanted to change, at least until an agent or editor asked for a change, which I'd probably be willing to do. And, I'm unlikely to be getting any feedback from the agents during the in-between period, so...

What does one do during this phase?

06-23-2017, 02:50 AM
You can do several things: 1. Research who to query next if you don't any bites. 2. Start writing/drafting/plotting something new. 3. Take a break from writing for a bit.

Good luck!

JJ Litke
06-23-2017, 02:52 AM
What does one do during this phase?

Work on your next project.

Marissa D
06-23-2017, 02:55 AM
Start the next book. ;) It may teach you something that you can use to tweak the book you're querying, if the "no thank yous" begin to pile up.

Siri Kirpal
06-23-2017, 03:53 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Work on your next writing project.

Work on a hobby.

Catch up on your reading.

Catch up on all the little household chores that need tending.

Research the next batch of agents.



Siri Kirpal

06-23-2017, 04:08 AM
What does one do during this phase?

Write another manuscript.

06-23-2017, 11:57 AM
Write something else and forget about it until you hear back.

06-23-2017, 04:42 PM
Next book! The query is out in the wild, there is nothing more that can be done.

06-23-2017, 04:47 PM
I gotta echo what everyone else has already said, be writing something else.

06-23-2017, 05:05 PM
I've also heard you should start the next project. Not only is it productive and keeps you from getting out of the BIC habit, but it also gives you something new and shiny to be excited and hopeful about if responses from this querying are slow or not as enthusiastic as you hoped.

Carrie in PA
06-23-2017, 05:53 PM
Obsessively refresh your email.

Oh, wait, do you mean what should you do?

Prepare your next list of agents you're going to query, then work on your next project.

Old Hack
06-23-2017, 06:51 PM
As others have said, get your book AND your query into top shape before you start querying. Make sure that when you send out your queries you're giving each agent exactly what they're asking for: so if they want a synopsis and a few pages, that's what you give them or, if you're querying non-fiction, you need a really good proposal.

Send it out only to agents who are open to submissions, and who are interested in the genre you're writing in.

Send it out in batches of five or six, and then take a breath. Wait a week or two. Wait until you've heard back from a couple, perhaps, before you send the next batch out (but don't hang on for months, that would be silly).

Once you've heard back from a few agents, reconsider. Are you getting form rejections and nothing else? If you're getting feedback, does everyone say the same thing about your work? Both these things suggest that you should stop querying and take another look at your work before burning any further through your list of agents.

And while you're waiting for all those responses then yes, of course: write your next book! Don't make it a sequel to the first, just in case the first doesn't sell. But do write. Write all the time if you can.

06-23-2017, 09:23 PM
The more you write, the more manuscripts you have to sell. Agents aren't generally interested in single-book authors, so having more projects in the works is a good thing.

06-23-2017, 11:24 PM
Check your email every five minutes!

Reorganize your agent submission spreadsheet and mail box obsessively.

Create calendar events to check up on every submission.

Stress clean random things in your house.

Oh wait... that's me.

Writing something new is a much better use of time. I should get on that. ;-)

06-24-2017, 01:10 AM
Another vote for 'forget about it and write something else'. It helps give you emotional distance for either bad news or good.

06-24-2017, 05:10 PM
Yes, write another book - but a whole new book, *not* a sequel to the one you're querying!