Everyone I know (and quite a few people I don’t) are asking questions about the querying process.
Querying is like pulling teeth: You have to do one at a time, every one is painful (Did I cite the right reasons for querying this agent? How was my wording? Is it really time to hit send?) and the pain lingers long after the query gone.
I think you should know about that pain, but here’s another metaphor.
Querying is like the world’s most difficult dating scene. Unlike a job interview, where a company must fill a position within a short period of time, agents can choose to hire or not. I don’t have to be the best candidate, I have to light a spark, and make them want my work when they don’t necessarily have to take on new work at all.
While I’m not dating a slew of agents, I am trying to get a date with many of them--a finite number, as it turns out. Our interests must match. She--for most often I am querying women--must be taking on new clients. My writing must appeal. And even then, we will have to connect on a more personal level, one where we decide whether we’re a good match to embark on this professional journey together.
Sometimes, my query goes on a blind date and the agent doesn’t respond. Ever. (Yes, the query is sometimes insecure.) And sometimes I get a second date--a request for a partial manuscript or more. Then things get exciting. Someone is holding my manuscript in her hands. Or, more likely, on her eReader.
And she is wondering whether she wants to marry me. For rewrites and typos, for bestsellers and bombs, in ebooks and in print, until retirement does us part.
I always hated dating. Querying is worse, and the spreadsheet is much larger, but the payoff could be (almost) as great.
I blog rarely, because I'm busy writing books. When I do blog, I focus on writing, friendship, family, and books. Because my family's best nicknames are private, I use their birth years for shorthand: