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Every agent asks for sample pages


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#1 annallyson

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 05:01 PM

So nine out of ten agents I query ask for sample pages (anywhere from five pages to fifty) with the initial, unsolicited query letter. I understand their reasoning, it will save them time asking for partials, but it does make it harder to track my responses.

 

I've queried about 19 people and have gotten a lot of really nice "nos." Several have said my project, "showed promise" but that they weren't interested. 

 

Is this normal, or should I be worried about this response rate? I've been told that if your query is good, about three out of seven agents should ask for a partial. But, since everyone immediately asks for a partial, I don't know how to judge this. 

 

Thoughts?


If anyone has a moment and wants to be very kind, take a look at my query or synopsis! 

 

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...orical-fiction/

Query: http://agentquerycon...-updated-52616/


#2 dogsbody

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 01:21 AM

They're not "immediately asking for a partial." First pages are what these pages are called, and they're often part of the standard query package, together with the query letter and a synopsis. 

 

So unless anyone has asked for ADDITIONAL pages after reading those that came with the query letter, you have not gotten any requests for partials.



#3 Thrash

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 10:59 AM

19 nos could be suggestive, or it may not. Have you gone through a CP process? It may help at this stage to get some eyes on your first pages. 



#4 annallyson

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 08:19 PM

Thanks for your response. I'm not sure what a CP process is. I've had someone read my manuscript, including the first pages obviously, and they didn't come back with any major revision suggestions. 


If anyone has a moment and wants to be very kind, take a look at my query or synopsis! 

 

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...orical-fiction/

Query: http://agentquerycon...-updated-52616/


#5 ah_522

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 12:25 AM

CP process = having critique partners look at your MS to see big picture problems (such as plot, pacing, characterisation, voice) and grammar. Usually that means getting people who are writers also to look at your things while you look at theirs. 

 

If you've only had one person look at your MS (was it a friend or professional editor?), then it sounds like you do need critique partners. There's a CP/betas wanted section on the forum, and you can put an ad there.



#6 annallyson

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 03:48 PM

Okay, thanks. I didn't realize there was a CP/betas wanted section. I'll post an ad there. 


If anyone has a moment and wants to be very kind, take a look at my query or synopsis! 

 

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...orical-fiction/

Query: http://agentquerycon...-updated-52616/


#7 rayne.adams

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 04:58 PM

annallyson,

 

Have you posted your query letter on the query thread for feedback? 

 

-Rayne


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#8 annallyson

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 02:34 AM

I did post the query for feedback. I got great advice. I worked the query to the point where most people agreed it was ready to be sent. I'm not an expert, but I feel like the query is solid. I would be surprised (and very relieved!) if that was the problem. 

 

That being said, I'm having a hard time figuring out what the problem is. 

 

It is possible that it is just the idea of the manuscript that agents aren't interested in. I hope that's not the case, as that is an insurmountable problem, but I suppose I may just need to love the journey and not the destination. ;)

 

Maybe I'll get lucky and my beta readers will tell me the problem is my opening chapters. 


If anyone has a moment and wants to be very kind, take a look at my query or synopsis! 

 

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...orical-fiction/

Query: http://agentquerycon...-updated-52616/


#9 rayne.adams

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 10:06 AM

It could be the opening chapters.Or the market. What genre are you writing?

 

About a month ago I did the WD bootcamp on the first ten pages of my MS and got great feedback--e.g. to cut some stuff and up the stakes. I wrote an entirely new opening, cut what the agent suggested, and got a great response from the agent who told me to send a solicited query after I polish up the rest of my manuscript. So it could just be the opening. If you need an extra pair of eyes I'd be happy to help. Good luck!


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#10 annallyson

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 04:30 PM

It's Young Adult Historical Fiction. It's actually a loose retelling of the Joan of Arc story. 

 

That would be amazing, rayne.adams. Thank you so much. Is alright if I just PM you the first few pages? I'd be happy to return the favor, though I don't suppose my track record recommends me. 


If anyone has a moment and wants to be very kind, take a look at my query or synopsis! 

 

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...orical-fiction/

Query: http://agentquerycon...-updated-52616/


#11 rayne.adams

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 05:27 PM

PM works!

 

I think I've read your query letter on this site, now that I think about it--I remember a YA retelling of Joan of Arc, and I'd be surprised if it's coincidence. It sounded interesting, btw--that's why I remember it. 

 

Looking forward to reading it!


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#12 ValentinaBlood

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 12:22 PM

CP process = having critique partners look at your MS to see big picture problems (such as plot, pacing, characterisation, voice) and grammar. Usually that means getting people who are writers also to look at your things while you look at theirs. 

 

If you've only had one person look at your MS (was it a friend or professional editor?), then it sounds like you do need critique partners. There's a CP/betas wanted section on the forum, and you can put an ad there.

Thanks for explaining. I didn't know what that stood for. 


Yours Truly,
Valentina Blood 

Check out my site! 


#13 GwMartins

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 06:02 PM

Though more critique is absolutely always valid, I don't think that your number of nos is necessarily alarming. Many things can be factors for the agent saying no, from already having something similar in their belt to just not connecting -- which I know is frustrating, but it's also entirely subjective. Some highly acclaimed books may not connect to you or me personally, and that doesn't make the books bad.



#14 ChopinsMuse

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 10:49 PM

Yeah, sometimes it comes down to your story idea and the plot itself, rather than any technical writing / formatting issues on part of the query and even sample pages. All of that could be excellent, but rejection is still possible if an agent doesn't feel "connected" to the premise.




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