Tuesday, August 11, 2009

When to stop querying a project

Tip of the Day: Capri Suns aren't just for kids!

So we've gone through all the aspects of querying, except for when to give up. Our mother's all raised us to "never give up," but when it comes to writing I think you have to be smart about this. Most of us have limited time to pursue this dream, because we are also working full-time jobs, raising families, and have other dreams we are chasing.

So just because one book doesn't sell, doesn't mean you have to give up on writing. Or that this book won't eventually sell when the market changes and "puppet-loving girls from Louisiana" become the new "vampires" just when you happen to be shelving your book about a small-town girl from Bonita, LA that makes children's puppets out of Capri Sun juice bags to raise money to pursue her dream as a professional ventriloquist (which we all know is clearly where the YA market is moving).

Don't be afraid to move on if one book isn't working. Take it as a sign to focus your attention on that other book that's screaming "write me."

By no means, does this mean you have to shelve the book completely, but maybe step away from it for a few months, go back to it later, and see if you can pick up on why people were having issues with it.

Next week, I'll try to talk more specifically about how to figure out when is the right time to move on.

--Emily, Miss Querylicious


DeenaML said...

It is sad to have to move on to querying a new ms, but also exciting in that you have a fresh start with a different ms to get the attention of an agent!

I say query at least 50 agents with 1 ms before giving up on it. That doesn't mean you can't tweak pages or your query during the 50 query process, but give you ms that much of a chance. IMO.

Kristina Springer said...

I went with Miss Snark's suggestion of 100 queries. And for me it was lucky #87 that called-- lol!

Christina Farley said...

This is so interesting where everyone has different beliefs of where to stop. I think I get too discouraged too early. Maybe that's why I haven't queried in so long and one of my books still sits unqueried on my desktop. Hmmm...

Kate Fall said...

Oooh, lucky #87! That's very inspiring Tina.