Sunday, December 03, 2017

Some housekeeping on queries here at the end of the year

I've  been requesting manuscripts and reading like crazy this year.  I just added 2017-90 (my 90th requested full) to the data base on Friday. 

I am bound and determined to get answers to as many of  these authors as I can by the end of the year.
(I only have 43 unread adult and 14 juvenile ms unread, not all 90!)

Yea, I know, I need my head examined.

What that means for you: this is not a good time to query. I'm not closed to queries, I've always got an eye out, particularly for non-fiction, but I'm hoping to slow the incoming tide for a couple weeks so I can get caught up.

If I read a good query and want to request the full or proposal, I'll most likely email and tell you I'm going to request in the new year. If you get an offer before then, my loss, and I'll kick myself of course.

But at some point, I want to feel like I'm not stranded on dry land (see, OTHER agents say 'under water' but since I am a shark...) as we close out the year.

Any questions?


Verna Austen said...

Hi Janet, sorry to he daft but above you mentioned you have unread J books; are you open to queries for YA and MG? Thank you.

Janet Reid said...

Hi Verna, my website should list all the kinds of things I'm actively looking for. It's

(if you spot something wrong on the site, please DO alert me!)

In short, picture book to middle grade NON-fiction is what I'm looking for.

Does this help?

Lennon Faris said...

That is one cross sharkling.

In all my writing-procrastination time, I've done many analyses and come to the conclusion that February 2-March 10 is the best time to query. There might be a similar, shorter window in early November. There's no summer fun or winter holiday chaos. No catch-up either. People just want to read. And as we all know, some agents are people.

Verna - Janet does some non-fiction juvenile. But she always says to query her even if it's not something she reps :)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I am now looking at February to query in earnest as I am doing a significant revision that will need to sit for a bit before I send it into shark infested waters.

Julie Weathers said...

Well, rot. And here I was ready to query you.

Not really. I may be like Elizabeth Siddal and be buried with the great work if I don't get my butt in gear.

Good luck in your quest to clear the decks.

Steve Stubbs said...

Please let us know when you are open to queries again.

Tom Hanks was on the CNN show THE AXE FILES last night saying jillions of people are working on stories about the sexual harassment scandals. They should be ready in six months or so.

I've already got one.

It was said on NPR recently that movie ticket sales were down this year $1 BILLION from last year. The one outlier was WONDER WOMAN, which broke box office records world wide. Female empowerment is IN. Warner Brothers offered the director (Patty Jenkins) a bone to write and direct a sequel. They settled for $8,000,000. Now if only they can get Gal Gadot to star in it. (She has insisted one of their producers, an alleged haraser, be fired.) Eight months from now you will be deluged with stories about female empowerment.

Forget eight months later. I've got one now.

It has a twist that I think you might find very unusual.

I just can't bring myself to stop proofreading this damn thing and send it out.

Good luck with your reading.

Karen McCoy said...

Excellent advice, and it gives me a chance to breathe a bit before the new year, when I will jump back into the query trenches with both feet.

Good luck with all the reading and catching up. Hope the holidays aren't too hectic.

Craig F said...

Probably a bit late for questions by those who heeded your Query Me, Query Me post of a few weeks ago.

Luckily for me it fulfilled an obligation I had given myself. I had said that I would give you the first right of refusal if I queried a thriller. I did and so did you.

I do have to admit I was taken aback by the rejection letter itself. The I am busy and though it is good to be me, it sucks to be you approach was downright strange.

I thought it was personal, now I have more questions.

Timothy Lowe said...

Hope you snagged at least one good client out of that prodigious pile, Ms. Reid. It's good to hear this kind of truth (Jessica Faust is more or less saying the same thing...interesting how in-line you two seem to be).

A good time to go back and give the old beady eye to the things that have been collecting dust, perhaps. Hey - who needs to inject a good dose of querying misery into the holidays anyway?

Joseph Snoe said...

Hey, Steve, what's your twist? (as Chubby Checker would say).

Just kidding. (but just between us, what's the twist?)

Colin Smith said...

I was about to say "Awww, shucks!"... but it's not like I'll have anything worth querying in the near future anyway! I'd like to have a novel ready to go sometime next year, but certainly not this side of the New Year.

All the best with submissions reading. Janet. I hope there's some tasty chum for you. :)

John Davis Frain said...

I particularly enjoyed your use of the word "only." As in,

(I only have 43 unread adult and 14 juvenile ms unread, not 90!)

So, in the spirit of such optimism, after a full and exhausting month of Nano, I'm glad to report that I have ONLY 36,000 words to write, not all 90,000* to reach THE END in my WIP.

(*Word count may vary. My actual word count is contingent on the climax and denouement, and may be lower in California.)

Janice Grinyer said...

Does this mean I can leave my writing room door unlocked to be able to get that big bowl of ice cream drizzled with crushed pecans and caramel syrup for a break treat, instead of head bent, eyes dreary, ring finger tapping on the backspace key for hours on end on a proposal that I researched and made outside contacts for months?

If so, yay for moving back query deadlines YAS!

*fist pump with a sticky spoon in hand*

Janice Grinyer said...

And OMG is that a baby shark??? LOOK AT THAT SIDEEYE...

Gosh, the attitude starts young...

Beth Carpenter said...

And I only have 43,000 more words to write in my first draft, not the entire 70,000. No problem.

Janet, hope you find a gem or two in the pile before year end. What a special Christmas treat that would be for you and for some lucky writer.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one tempted to send her a query RIGHT NOW?

I mean, I wouldn't. Probably. But it is tempting.

Hope you manage to clear the decks, Janet. Having 57 unread mss sounds pretty damn daunting to me. My own TBR pile is bigger, but at least no one is waiting for me to pass judgment on any of it. Good luck.

Steve Stubbs said...

Joseph Snoe said "Hey, Steve, what's your twist? (as Chubby Checker would say)."

Can't tell you. When I first started this thing, all the stuff that has happened the last few months was in the future and I expected to be a lonely voice. Now with Harvey Weinstein, the Baylor Sex Scandals, SAE, Charlie Rose, and a veritable blizzard of other scandals everybody and his dog is banging away on a laptop. I did not anticipate that. I did not know WONDER WOMAN was even in production, let alone that it would be a blockbuster. Fortunately the others will all write the same stuff. This is not the same stuff. Plus mine is practically ready and theirs is not. So maybe I can still tell a unique story.

Anyway, I think Empowered Females will be The Thing over the next year or two. The flip side of Harvey Weinstein is, his victims are asserting themselves. We are seeing the leading edge of the trend. Come up with a unique idea and join the multitude banging away on laptops and see what it gets you.

Kae Ridwyn said...

I'm with the other Reiders - good luck with getting through your requested fulls, and here's hoping that there are a few keepers in there for you!
Me? I doubt I'd be query ready before June 2018. At the absolute earliest. Sigh.
*heads back to editing*

Joseph Snoe said...

Steve, I figured you knew I was kidding around.

So - is "everybody and his dog is banging away on a laptop" a clue?

Just kidding again. It's late and I'm bored.

You're right, though. Getting the first good story out there is a big advantage.