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#1 A. Wass

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 12:10 PM

Hey there,

 

So I've only sent out a small batch of queries so far, and as it stands I am 0/8 right now. I have 1 partial out but that was from a pitch contest, not a query. I was told I have a strong query and all of my beta readers love my opening pages. So how come I'm not getting any bites? Is it just personal preference? Is it the query? The first pages? Have I not sent enough queries to determine this? I'm not sure how to interpret this. Anyone else have this problem?

 

Thanks for your thoughts.



#2 smithgirl

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 12:41 PM

Welcome to querying. Unfortunately, it's generally not possible to know what is causing the disinterest. On the plus side, 8 queries is not very many. Also, you should consider the response patterns of the agents you've queried so far -- assuming you are getting no response at all (read up on the agents at querytracker: https://querytracker.net/). Some agents essentially never respond to any queries; other agents are consistent, fast responders. A good way to start with a new query/book is to query agents who are consistently (preferably) fast responders. 

 

Actually some of us have been bemoaning this same issue here: http://agentquerycon...-is-it-just-me/

 

You are definitely not alone. Many people have books that have undergone multiple rounds of revision and had enthusiastic support from beta readers. They get their queries and synopses critiqued. Then they query: nothing.

 

You can do everything "right" (as far as you know), but that doesn't mean agents will request your book.

 

Your bio says you are between agents. Did you have an easier time getting an agent in the past? Is that previous agent not available for your current book? Just curious.



#3 smithgirl

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 12:50 PM

Consider that an average agency may receive 30,000+ queries in a year and sign 3 authors. At its most basic level, this is a numbers issue. What are the chances that your book is the one the agent likes better than the other 30,000?

 

All the same, you can't give up. Query more agents, keep writing. You can try posting (re-posting?) your query/synopsis/book opening to see if anyone notices an obvious issue. 

 

Frequently, however, there are issues beyond your control, like how other books with similar stories have been selling, if the agent can think of editors to whom they could pitch it.

 

Also, fiction is doing badly right now. Fiction deals at the London Book Fair this year are dramatically lower than last year (most of the deals are for nonfiction). It's a very competitive market. You must be persistent.



#4 A. Wass

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 12:55 PM

 

Your bio says you are between agents. Did you have an easier time getting an agent in the past? Is that previous agent not available for your current book? Just curious.

 

My agent left the business, hence why I'm in between agents and looking for a new one. When I queried that book, I got a handful of requests and 2 offers of rep. But I sent like 50 queries so I don't know if that matters. I probably need to send more out, but I thought I'd get at least one request by now. *shrugs*



#5 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 01:26 PM

I agree with everything smithgirl said.  I'm currently batting 0/8 right now as well, but in those queries I sent out my opening pages were atrocious.  So I'm not going to send out anymore until I'm satisfied with my first chapter (which, of course, is the weakest part of the whole story.)  But I do have that doubt of, Dear God, was the query so bad they didn't even bother to look at the horrible pages? I too was told I had a strong query on here, and had a decent synopsis, but my story is also very wierd, and I can see how lots of agents would turn it down because it's not marketable.  I really wish I could just get feedback from one saying "yes, query good, opening pages crap" or "this is good, but too wierd to be publishable."

It's also possible that your story is just not something that is very "popular" right now, or on an agent's list.  I have that same problem. Strong female leads are the shit right now, #ownvoices and all that jazz.  Which is awesome, I think it's terrific the literary world is expanding and people WANT strong characters like that (because weak females in stories is always a pet peeve of mine), but my story is about two old white dudes, so I'm sure that's also going against me at the moment, because people apparently just have a hate on for men right now. Le sigh, what can you do? Just keep truckin'.



#6 smithgirl

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 01:54 PM

Yes, that would be great if all agents rejected with a checklist:

 

1. Query quality? G/B

2. Synopsis quality? G/B

3. First pages quality? G/B

4. Bad fit with current market? Y/N

 

Maybe a few more categories. Something like this would be soooo useful!

 

If you got a deal before from 50 queries, then you are doing well.



#7 A. Wass

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 01:58 PM

 

 

If you got a deal before from 50 queries, then you are doing well.

I keep trying to tell myself this so I don't get discouraged. I keep telling myself that if I did it once, I can do it again, but it's hard not to compare myself to these writers who send out like 20 queries and get 5 offers of rep from it. :/



#8 smithgirl

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 02:02 PM

I would be happy with ONE offer of rep. I've been querying for ten years.



#9 A. Wass

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 02:06 PM

I would be happy with ONE offer of rep. I've been querying for ten years.

 Well this was 5 years ago, and nothing good really came out of my relationship with the agent. It was one of those "I'd rather have an agent than the right agent" kind of things and I learned from that mistake. So this time around I don't want to end up in the same situation.



#10 smithgirl

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 02:07 PM

 Well this was 5 years ago, and nothing good really came out of my relationship with the agent. It was one of those "I'd rather have an agent than the right agent" kind of things and I learned from that mistake. So this time around I don't want to end up in the same situation.

 

 

Sorry to hear that.



#11 A. Wass

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 02:38 PM

Well in any case, if this MS doesn't get any bites I have a YA Contemp that is reallllly close to being ready to query.



#12 lnloft

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 04:04 PM

I had the very first agent I sent my query request the manuscript. I thought, "Man, I'm going to rock this whole querying business, how great is this?" I've sent out about 20 other queries since then, and I've gotten... one partial request, that turned into a no. So I don't know what to think, except that at this point I'd like to take another look at my query before I send out more. Loads of fun. Although I suppose I also don't have a ton to complain about yet because I do still have that pending request. Which I don't know what to think about, because I think my story is awesome, so I've long believed that if I just get them to start reading a bit, I'm good to go, except that obviously that didn't pan out with the partial request.

 

I did find this blog post from one agent that I think sheds at least a little bit of clarity (while also acknowledging that there really is none): http://bookendsliter...bs-me-querytip/


Nothing to reciprocate on right now; I'm off in the query trenches.





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