Jump to content



Timing non fiction queries

  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic

#1 ClaudiaB


    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Literary Status:published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northwest
  • Publishing Experience:Articles in professional/technical journals and magazines, and some general audience/special interest magazines; long-ago book (Prentice-Hall) on backyard livestock raising; five education manuals and guides sold nationally by education company.

Posted 21 April 2012 - 06:45 PM

Given the long response time from agents, does it make sense to query before having sample chapters ready to go? I have a proposal with all the parts and pieces, somewhat detailed chapter outlines, and a few samples of published work -- but frankly, I'm hesitant to put in the miles writing and polishing chapters if no one's going to be interested, anyway.
Any advice?

#2 Jean Oram

Jean Oram

    Your friendly, neighborhood, all-purpose moderator

  • Super Moderator
  • 9,302 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published, in-between agents
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:New York Times bestselling romance author. Independent author with traditional publishing experience. Everything from magazines to newspapers to short stories to novels.
  • City (optional):C-eh?-N-eh?-D-eh?

Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:28 PM

Do not query before a sample chapter is ready. Some agents reply pronto. You don't want to have to make them wait a month while you write a chapter, let it sit, go back and edit, edit, edit. So, while it may feel like you are spending time on something that may not pay off, it is the way the business works. Same with novel writing! If nothing else, writing will help you hone your craft, voice, etc. (And anyway, what were you going to spend that time doing anyway? :wink: )

If you honestly feel that nobody is going to be interested, then you need to reassess your project. If you simply fear putting the work in on speculation, well, then maybe this kind of writing isn't for you. (But don't worry--you are not alone--we all have feelings like that and I totally get it.)

I love connecting with and helping other AQCers outside this forum as well. You can find me all over the place!

If you are looking for more about writing, you may find my blog helpful, as well as my Twitter feed:

*The Helpful Writer *Twitter

If you are a parent, you might be interested in my ideas on growing happy, healthy kids who'll thrive in this ever changing world (includes crafts, activities, games, articles, and fun!):
*Twitter *Blog *Pinterest *Facebook


I write stuff (www.jeanoram.com)


#3 mwsinclair


    Elephant with a trunk full of novels

  • Group Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,911 posts
  • Literary Status:published, unagented, media
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:Journalist covering U.S. nonprofits, foundations, and life in general. President and Chief Elephant Officer of Elephant's Bookshelf Press, LLC. Since establishing the company in 2012, we have published more than a dozen books, including several short story anthologies and debut novels by several AQC authors including "ScubaSteve" Carman and R.S. Mellette. Midway through 2018, we've already published our first nonfiction title, "Which the Days Never Know," and are putting together an omnibus collection of the Seasons Series of anthologies, with launch expected by the Christmas season. And in 2019, there will be much more, with news to come soon!

Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:35 PM

I agree with Jean. Get your proposal in shape before querying and that includes sample chapters.

And like Jean said, you are not alone.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users