Submitting Query Letters to Literary Agents

My experience with sending query letters has not been too exciting. In fact, I’ve just received my first rejection letter. Though,I’m certain that the process that I’ve implemented would be useful to others. I created a free account on www.querytracker.net which is an incredibly useful tool for authors. It even has easy video tutorials to learn how to navigate and use their features. What I’ve used this website for is to purely track when I’ve sent a query letter, and to whom, and then set reminders for myself to do some sort of follow up if I haven’t heard from them in the expected response time.

However, I do not recommend using Query Tracker for the purpose of acquiring contact information of Agents. Their database is good, but not reliable. I have seen agents post on Twitter that querytracker does not always have the most up-to-date contact information, and that authors should always check the Agency’s website for submission instructions. Matter of fact, I was at one agency website with a page outlining their general submission guidelines, and when I was browsing the agent bio’s, I noticed that the agent I wanted to submit to had drastically different submission instructions listed in her bio… so keep an eye out.

So I’ve submitted to 3 agents thus far. Why did I stop there you ask? Despite all of my research into drafting a query letter (as seen in my previous blog post), I stopped at 3 because I am uncertain at the quality of my query. This is only because I have not recieved any professional feedback on it yet (I sure hope Query Shark posts my submission to her).

So I do understand that query’s should be tailored to the agent you are sending it to, and in fact, you should only submit to agents that you’ve done research on and believe that they are the right fit for you. However, on the other hand, what if the agent doesn’t feel the magical connection through your poorly crafted query letter that hasn’t undergone any feedback?

I’ve noticed that agents claim up-front that they will not provide you feedback on why they declined your query, if they turn you down. But a simple answer of “No” from an agent is enough to know that something in your query letter needs to be changed. That is why I stopped at 3… to allow myself to adjust and adapt to their responses (or lack thereof) before I continue my quest to find representation.

For example, now that I’ve received my first “No”, I am going to rewrite the bio in my query.

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