It’s tempting, I know.
When you’re ready to query, you just want to get your stuff out there. It’s almost like heading to the lake on a hot summer day. You KNOW the water is going to be cold, so you close your eyes and run for it – straight into the freezing water.
Yeah, not always a smart move.
There are a few awesome resources out there to help you slow down in your query journey. Querytracker for one. Plug in your genre and presto – you’ll have hundreds (depending on your genre) of agents right at your finger tip. But here’s where you need to do your research: just because they accept queries in your genre, doesn’t mean they are the right fit for you.
Why does Cookie Monster love cookies and not fruit? Why do I love chocolate and not chilli? (no, not even the chocolate with chilli peppers in it – what a desecration to my chocolate!)
Do your homework. Don’t throw out your work and assume everyone will love it. It’s not ‘okay’ to be one of those authors that received 100 rejections before they found the ‘right’ agent for them. Sure – even if you do do your homework, you may get rejected. But is your novel ready? 100%? Don’t waste an agents time. Don’t waste YOUR time either.
Let’s go back to querytracker. Say you want agents who accept women’s fiction queries. That’s over 300 agents. Fantastic. That means you have possible 300 agents to query. But before you do – go to their websites. Check out their blogs. Are they on twitter? 9
times out of 10, just because they say they accept women’s fiction doesn’t mean they sell it. Go through their book listings of the last 5-10 books they sold. Are they YA? Thrillers? They might not be the agent for you. While you’re on their blog, have you read it? Do you like their attitude? Are they friendly, personable? Do they come across as snarky (yes Janet Reid, I’m talking about you!). Make sure their personality meshes with yours. For pity sake – if you are the type of person is all smiles and giggles and can’t understand sarcasm or even straight up honesty when it comes to your writing, don’t query an agent who comes across that way in their blog or even on twitter!
I’m not saying that by doing your homework like will be all rosy when it comes to querying. But I can promise you that you’ll receive less rejections than if you had queried just any ole’ agent out there.
Remember, in the end, all things succumb to chocolate!
If you’re a lover of romance, I hope you’ll pick up on of my books where I write under the name of Anya Winter. Be sure to fall in love with The Master, Stampede Fever (Stampede Sizzlers) and The Blindfold!