My Querying Journey: How I Got My Agent

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

17 rejections

15 CNRs

2 R&Rs

0 offers

 

Book 2: Phoenix Falling

34 queries sent (why is this the same number as Book 2?)

5 full requests

1 partial request

20 rejections

14 CNRs

0 R&Rs

0 offers

 

Book 3: Fire-Knife Girl

15 queries sent

8 full requests (5 of which came AFTER I received my first offer)

0 partial requests

11 rejections

2 CNRs

0 R&Rs

2 offers

1 agent

 

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!

  8 comments for “My Querying Journey: How I Got My Agent

  1. May 13, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    I think I started submitting before I was fully ready. But I did just get my first request for pages and synopsis!

    • Jordan Green
      May 13, 2019 at 1:27 pm

      I think I made the same mistake, too, but great news about your request! If you’d like me to take a look at your query, I’d be happy to. Send me a DM via Twitter and I’ll give you my email address.

  2. Maureen
    May 14, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    I’ve just begun querying my first novel. I have sent out 8 so far, three rejections, 1CNR. Beginning to think about the next story, a creative distraction! Would love a query read. Thank you for sharing your experience and congratulations on your success!

    • Jordan Green
      May 14, 2019 at 6:28 pm

      Yes! It’s always good to start a new book to distract yourself. I would be happy to look at your query. Send me a DM on Twitter and I will pass along my email address.

  3. Evelyn
    May 14, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    I’ve had to don my googling-sleuth hat so many times because the agents I’ve been looking at don’t actually have twitter, or even any wishlist page! When I conceeded that I should exercise more, this is not what I had in mind 😂

    • Jordan Green
      May 14, 2019 at 10:09 pm

      Aww man! So hard when they don’t broadcast their wishlist online. Good for you for doing your research. If you’d like me to take a look at your query, send me a DM!

  4. Martha Willey
    May 31, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey and advice. We see wonderful stories on social media and forget the long process it often takes to reach that mountain. I think you’re going to love your agency. Their videos and blogs look amazing and you can tell there is a sense of family there. In fact I have a query to one of the agents right now which is why I’m not sending mine to you to look over, as I don’t think that would be right. But thank you for the very generous offer. I wish you the very best.

    • Jordan Green
      May 31, 2019 at 12:52 pm

      Thank you so much! Best of luck with your queries.

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