August 8th, 2008

books

letters from the query wars

# of queries read this week: 227
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0

Nathan Bransford (who I finally got to meet while we were both attending RWA) had some good advice earlier this week about what to do when you have multiple novels finished and how to decide which one (or perhaps two) to query, and how often. Read it here.

I suspect some people are looking at the numbers above and finding them astounding. And someone recently commented (I can't find the exact comment) wondering whether it was better to query during slower times in the industry and, if so, when that slow time might be. Once upon a time I would have actually said that summer was the slow time that allowed me to catch up on reading and submissions. However, I no longer can make such a claim. Indeed, the last couple years, I would have to say that there is no such thing as a slow time, and have heard many agents and editors confirm the same. I can tell you one thing, though -- the number of queries has nothing to do with requests, or lack of requests, that I, personally, make for submissions. If I am strongly hooked by the pitch in the query, the synopsis and the first five pages (as requested in our submission guidelines), I will ask to read more. Period. I'm a bookaholic. My current suspicion is that I will never get enough.