Advice from an Unknown Writer
Last year I queried a story and received nothing but rejection after rejection. Sound familiar to some of you? Well, this little story never should have been sent out there into the world. It wasn’t ready and I was naive. Not only wasn’t my story ready, but I didn’t do enough research into the agents I was submitting to. Big mistake, but one I learned from and one short year later I’m back to submitting. A new manuscript.
Still making mistakes? Yup. Definitely not perfect in any way, shape or form but I’m learning.
This time, I have a critique partner to help me with revisions and edits. I’ve made many writer friends via my blog, Twitter and BEA. And I’ve done a lot of research on agents, publishers, etc. A new tool to me this time around is Query Tracker. If you are currently submitting or planning to do so in the near future, this site is invaluable and it just happens to be where I came up with a great idea.
I never in a million years thought I’d do this– want to or need to– but I’ve decided to stick my neck out and take a chance. I’m adding a new post to my blog: advice for authors/writers submitting their work. All of this will be based on my experiences with my own submitting. It’s my hope that we can all learn from each other, not demoralize anyone. These are my opinions and my opinions alone, but I would love comments and advice from the writing community too. Remember, it takes a village:)
I know we all use Query Tracker because it helps to keep our submissions organized. It is also a wonderful tool for doing research on agencies and publishers; however, I think we forget that ANYONE can access and view our comments.
I have read countless comments that I appreciate, such as those of you who post the length of time it’s taken for an agent to respond to a query. There are some commenters who are forgetting one important thing: agents CAN and DO read the comments made about THEM!
I have been quite shocked at the level of contriteness I’ve seen in comments. Calling agents out on their form rejection letters or their no response=no practices is certainly not going to endear you an agent, in fact it might be the reason some are being rejected.
Agents are in business for a reason and they know what they’re doing. Yes, some times it is very difficult to wait. Knowing that we may never get a response from a query we sent can be tough; however, we need to remember that our manuscript and our query is not the only one a particular agent is receiving. Plus, agents are working for their current clients. As a client, would you want your agent to be working hard for you OR a possible client?
That being said, alienating an agent or agents in general is not a good career move. Helping other writers follow timelines and giving some insight into what is being accepted is. So please, don’t hang around these chatty places and get sucked into negative behavior. Use this time to do research or just plain write. It’s a better use of your time.