What to do when your query isn’t getting you requests
Blogger: Rachel Kent
You went over your query many times, and you were sure it was beautifully written. You sent it out to your list of agents, and now one-to-two months have passed and you haven’t heard anything. What do you do next?
First, I suggest you check out the submission guidelines on the agents’ webpages to make sure you followed the guidelines. If you didn’t, resubmit your query the proper way for every agency you initially sent to the wrong way. If you did send the right way, and the guidelines say you should receive a reply, send a polite email checking on the status of your query.
If you sent your query letters properly, and there is still no word or you’ve received rejections, next, I’d suggest you have a critique partner look at your query. Does it grab your critique partner’s attention? Does he or she believe it shares just the right info to tell the agent about you and your project in one typed page? Also, have your critique partner look at the formatting to make sure there’s nothing obnoxious happening with the type when the query email is sent. Sometimes agents won’t even consider a project if the fonts are messed up or if it’s written in all capitals.
Next, consider revising your query to highlight a unique hook and why you are the author to write this book. For example, if you are writing a parenting book, what kind of platform are you bringing to the table? Some of these genres are very competitive, so you need to prove that your book will stand out in the market. If your platform or book might not stand out, take a step back from submitting query letters and build up that platform or revise your book in a way to make it unique.
If you do significantly revise your manuscript, you can send your query letter off to your initial list of agents again. Be sure not to continually pester the agents with query letters or you will likely be put on that agent’s “blacklist” and it will ruin your chances of ever approaching that agent with a new idea.
If you continue not to get responses, it’s likely because your book isn’t a good fit for the current market. It doesn’t necessarily mean that book will never be published, it just might not be the right timing. You should put that book on the back burner and turn your attention to something new.
Do you have critique partners look at your query letters and proposals?
Have you ever revised a query letter and had more success the second time around?
Enjoy your weekend!