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Monday, September 19, 2011

Pressing Send

Meredith recently posted about diving into the querying pool, and I especially liked how she described it as positive forward motion. She said that querying means you’re a finisher, and I agree.

Over the last few months, I made some revisions after getting feedback from agent submissions. It ended up being a summer break from querying, but I must admit, it felt good. Like Meredith said, querying is a little soul crushing. But after my vacation, I’m ready to jump in (I think.)

How do you know when your manuscript is ready to send out? It’s not an easy decision to make. My advice, for what it’s worth:

1. Revise, revise, revise. Your first version isn’t ready, no matter how much you want it to be. Get as many beta readers as possible, and take their advice seriously. Even after several reads by different people, I was making adjustments. And it is better for it.

2. Do your homework. Know what genre your book is, and which agents are accepting queries in that genre. I believe in querying widely, but it makes no sense to me to send a historical romance to an agent accepting only YA. Learn how to write a query letter, for that matter. (Hint, it shouldn’t be three pages long.)

3. Join a critique group, and go to conferences. Keep your finger on the pulse of the industry. Things are changing all the time, and none of us can afford to be out of touch.

4. Finally, have a good system of keeping track of where your at. Query Tracker is great for tracking the queries you sent out, but a good ole’ pen and paper will work too. Just don’t make the mistake of sending it to an agent twice, or *gasp* spelling their name wrong or calling her “Mr.” Although, I’m sure it has happened to all of us *blush.*

A wise person once said, the only way there is through it. Even though some days are hard, I know it will all be worth it.

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