So, I just submitted to another agent.
I swore I wouldn’t do this until I heard back from some of the agents I’ve queried recently, but then I realized, I had. One of them isn’t accepting queries any more (backlogged, I suppose. Given the amount of email some of them say they are getting, I can well imagine. 1900 emails? My brain would fry in my skull. And now I understand why agents are so like Nancy Reagan–they “Just Say No.”**). So I moved to the next agent on my list.
I keep thinking it shouldn’t take me so long every time I go to submit a single query, but it does. Below is a list of how submitting one query looks (for me, anyway).
1) Think about querying agent in question for x period of time (I’m embarrassed to say how long).
2) Review his/her agency’s website.
4) Check and double-check to make sure they represent what I’m pitching. Write down everything they represent.
5) Check AAR, Editors and Preditors, and Absolute Write for information.
6) Check my notes to see what they represent again. Recheck the website. Can anyone say OCD?
6) Fret about fretting so much.
7) I look at my query letter.
8 ) I (attempt to) personalize it.
9) I review (for probably for the 30th time) how the agent wants his/her submissions.
10) Change mine to fit those parameters.
11) Review the guidelines again.
13) Review my submission again.
14) Correct things that didn’t format correctly into the email (for instance, paragraph indents never seem to come out right, and I always have to manually put them in. Every. Single. Time.)
16) Check out agent’s blog. If what the agent says he wants in the blog (in terms of submissions–you know, query letter only; query letter + synopsis; query letter + synopsis + first x# of pages, etc) is different from what’s listed on the website, I’ve been going with what the agent has listed on his blog. I’m probably wrong and have just shot myself in the foot, and therefore, I…
17) Fret some more.
18) Consider following agency website recommendations for what the agent wants, despite the fact that the blog is considerably newer information. While I’m doing this, I…
18) Review my query letter again. Change one word. Maybe I change that dash in the second paragraph to a period, and leave the last phrase as a fragment. Maybe the English nerd in me hates the fragment at the end of that paragraph and changes the period back to a dash. Maybe I change an and to that. It’s really exciting stuff, trust me. And because I’m making changes, I…
20) Once I’m satisfied with the query, the mouse pauses over the “Send” button.
21) I suddenly require water–I will just die if I don’t get water RIGHT NOW!–so I get it.
22) I get distracted by something shiny on my way back to the computer.
23) I wander back to my computer. Notice the open email.
24) Mouse hovers over the send button. I take a big breath.
25) I hit send.
And because I hit send, I then…
**A joke people! Kind of. Maybe. Well… But yeah. It’s easier to find a six foot tall, god-like Swedish man named Thor who carries a mighty hammer (yeah, you know the one I mean. Giggity) and will randomly give you rubies for no reason than it is to land an agent. Sometimes. Actually, I haven’t had a terrible ratio of rejections to requests off of queries. Really.