I recently announced on Twitter that I’ve signed with a literary agent, specifically Moe Ferrara of BookEnds. Cue dancing and cheering (figurative dancing and cheering because hello–introvert over here)!! It’s been quite the journey, three years of querying three different books. Here’s how my stats line up:
Book 1: The Way Our Horizons Meet
34 queries sent
2 full requests
1 partial request
Book 2: Phoenix Falling
34 queries sent (why is this the same number as Book 2?)
5 full requests
1 partial request
Book 3: Fire-Knife Girl
15 queries sent
8 full requests (5 of which came AFTER I received my first offer)
0 partial requests
What did I learn? Do your research. Just because an agent accepts something from your age group doesn’t mean he or she is looking for something in that drama. My first time querying, I had a HUGE list of agents who accepted YA books, but I didn’t whittle it down enough to find someone who was looking for my kind of story.
#MSWL is an excellent resource. If it leads you to an agent who seems to like ideas like yours, follow that agent on Twitter. Keep an eye out for more details about what they’re looking for. An agent is WAY more likely to read a query that matches their wishlist than if it just matches their age group.
Get involved in Twitter pitch contests like #PitMad or #DVPit. I also found my critique partners through #CPMatch and they have drastically improved my writing. Use QueryTracker to log your queries and responses and check out Publisher’s Marketplace for recent deals and the types of books that certain agents are selling. Hopefully your story is something in their wheelhouse, but not something too close to what they’ve already sold.
How’s querying going for you? Hit up the comment box and I’ll give you a free query critique!