Thursday, September 6, 2012

On Serial Querying

Tip of the Day: I'm giving away a signed copy of Just Your Average Princess via the I Am a Reader, Not a Writer's Reading Clean Giveaway Hop. Stop by my blog to enter and then visit the other great blogs in the hop.

A link to this post on Serial Querying popped up in my facebook feed this week and since I'd never heard of the term I clicked on it. In the article the author says not to serial query agents. She says if she rejects your book then you need more time to become a better writer. This may be a phase or two or three further down the road. But don't send a query for another book when you're still in that same phrase as a writer. 

On one hand I can see how it would be annoying for an agent to get rapid fire queries from the same author. No one should ever pester someone that much. Agents aren't alone with this being an annoyance. But something about her saying to give it time until you've grown as a writer bothers me. I guess what it says to me is if I send you book A and you reject it, then I'm a weak writer. That we can't assume that Book A is just not right for you, or the current market, but that you're rejecting it solely because I'm a weak writer and need more time to develop my craft. So if I send you Book B, I'm only going to irritate you because I didn't take an additional 6 months to a year to improve my craft. 

Huh? I don't get this. I think every book is different. To me, I would think it would be fine to query various projects. You never know which is going to work. And if it's that you truly are a weak writer and truly need time to develop your craft, well then tell the writer that clearly so that he or she doesn't waste time querying you again. Anyone who has ever queried an agent or publisher knows there is a list of common phrases they use ("This isn't right for my list." "I don't think I could effectively place this in the current market." etc.) that they use over and over again but that don't really give guidance in why you're being rejected (unless you're lucky enough to get a personal rejection).

I've traditionally published three books. In that same time frame I've also had at least 4 additional books submitted to publishers that had been rejected. Should I not have tried other books? Other ideas? Should I have given up at the first rejection and worked on my writing for a year so I could grow? I don't think so. Not every agent/publisher is going to love every idea. I say throw the spaghetti. When I queried for my first agent I queried (not all at once, but in batches of 10-15) 100 agents. I signed with agent number 87. She sold my first book at auction for a two-book deal. I've since had the book translated in 6 different languages and sold film rights. Glad I didn't take a year off of querying to work on my craft.

Kristina, Miss Author in Action

1 comment:

Andrea Mack said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your determination is inspiring and reminds me that I need to get querying my novel again.