Sunday, July 19, 2009

Query Tally for..uh..what day is this?

Start time: 9:43pm
Starting number of queries: 36

The really easy and fast ones:

Word count so off base it didn't make it into the TBR folder: 3
Duplicate query of one already received/responded: 1
Instant rejection-fiction novel: 2

all of those took about a minute total

These were also easy but I read them before knowing they were auto-rejections:
Books I don't take on-previously published, sex abuse, etc.: 3

The ones I actually read:

Derivative ideas/concepts: 1
Jarring juxtaposition of gruesome plot and sprightly diction: 1

No interest in reading this book: 4
(the definitive "not right for me")

Bad writing: 4

Not compelling: 6

No clue what the book is about after reading the query: 6

Misc (reasons too specific to the query to blog about): 2

And the good news:
Queries set aside for further reading: 1
Queries pending answer to a question: 1

And the really good news:
Fulls requested: 1

Finish time including writing this blog post: 10:29pm

You'll notice the pattern emerging here, right?
I do a bunch of them all at one time.
I'm reading pretty quickly.
You have to catch my attention in the query letter.

You have to know the parameters: word count, fiction novel etc.

And it really really helps if you actually tell me what the book is about.


Jane Steen said...

Forgive me if I missed something, but why do you do queries so late in the day? I'm brain-dead by 9pm (yes I am posting at 9:55, go figure) and am amazed at your ability to even summon up a reaction to other people's Great Ideas at this hour.

DebraLSchubert said...

"And it really really helps if you actually tell me what the book is about." Damn! I knew there was a catch!

~Aimee Maher said...

I did a little digging after reading around a few of the agent blogs and thought about trying to write an adult novel. It quickly turned into a YA contemporary fantasy. I think it's safe to say that I will never add to your email delight. Reality, for me, just bites.

Janet Reid said...

Jane, I'm a night owl. You won't catch me doing queries at 9am: I'm snoozing. I'm lucky to start working a the crack of noon. 11pm for me is essentially late afternoon.

C. Patrick Schulze said...

Terrific insight. Thanks for this.

BuffySquirrel said...

Yay for whoever got their full requested :).

Mim said...

Just wanted to say thanks for the insight of query reading. It's nice to see the reasons you reject, as well as your entire process. Since I'm a Young Adult writer, I won't be querying you, but I love your blog. If I wrote another genre you'd be on the top of my list.

Andrew said...

This stuff is the mutt's nuts...Maybe I'm a little too in love with stats...any chance of a genre breakdown too???....

....don't ask don't get....haha

Susan Adrian said...

Just to clarify, guys: Janet reps me, and I write YA. If you have a good project, don't write her off. :)

(not that she needs more queries, probably, but ya know...)

jessjordan said...

6 no clues what the book is about after reading the query = sad. So very, very sad.

That's like opening a dictionary and finding a word, but no description.

onipar... said...

Reading your blog, I can't help but wish you represented horror.

Thanks for posting these stats. They are very informative.

Beth said...

I can't wait to query you. I write women's fiction. My novel is finished and I'm in the editing phase. Before I query, I'll polish and polish, Oh Great One (Shark, I mean).

Love your no-nonsense, bad ass attitude. I can take it. I was a single mom for 16 years so I can do anything.