Querying, Updating the Tracker

This week I received another rejection. It was great because it both reminded me that my work is out there, being read (if not for a long, long while) and that I need to continue querying to keep getting rejected.

Of course, rejection is not the end goal in querying. I query (sending out letters to potential agents for representation for manuscripts) so that I can find the agent that will best represent me and my stories. That’s a relationship that needs to be built and the first step is finding someone who is interested in my work. Taking the time to research agents cannot be emphasized enough. Each time I send out a query, I follow the same steps. I start by looking up an agent and researching what they represent. Usually this is a fluid step, either I’ve found an agent based on what they represent or looked up books in my genre and found agents that have represented the authors of those books. For me, that means I’m looking for agents who represent Young Adult (YA) literature, and within that genre I look for agents who want dystopian, magical realism, paranormal fiction, near-future climate crisis, etc. stories depending on the manuscript I’m querying.

This week I need to send out more queries. I was sending out one to two a week, but I’ve fallen out of that rhythm as I’ve been working on my other goals. It’s ok to fall out of rhythm, I just want to make sure I don’t lose momentum. The best way to make sure that doesn’t happen, is to get back to the things that fall off track when I can. I’m actually working off a list of agents I’d made earlier, which makes finding who I’d like to consider sending my manuscript to easier, but it doesn’t negate the research I still need to do. I look up to make sure the agent is still accepting queries, a hugely important thing as it’s really important not to query agents who aren’t accepting them, and then go through the rest of my list for research. I make sure the agent is accepting queries, represents the kind of story I write, and is someone who would be a good match for the manuscript I’m shopping. If it’s all good, I put together my query letter, whatever writing sample the agent is looking for, and whatever other materials the agent needs. Then, when I’ve updated my tracker with the most recent query sent, I look up the next agent and do the process all over again.

In case you haven’t been told today, you are more than enough.

With you in words, Nikole

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