Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Chum Bucket tonight 7pm

Chum Bucket tonight.

Remember: do not link to this post from elsewhere (your blog or Facebook page), or post/tweet about it.

Chum Bucket works because everyone who participates has invested some time in learning how it works.  I LOVE doing Chum Bucket so I really want to keep it to those people who buy in to the premise.

The premise is that if you query me between 7pm and 8pm tonight, I will reply to you personally, not with a form letter.

The response can range from "this isn't for me" to "send full" but you'll know I'm sitting there typing it out when I get your query.

Of course, I often do reply with more than "not for me" because I think it's helpful to say why it's not for me. Sometimes it's because I'm not much on eyeball removal (eww!) and sometimes it's cause you
think a 240,000 memoir is publishable.

If I think I can help you, I'll try to do so.

Chum Bucket is NOT a critique.

And your part of the bargain is you will not email me back telling me I'm a cretin of the first order for failing to appreciate your masterpiece.  (While that may be true, we will observe the social niceties of not stating the obvious.)

The reason I ask you to NOT tweet or link is that people who aren't regular blog readers, or twitter followers, who only see the announcement, may not know about the social contract not to reply with venom.  I really want to keep doing Chum Bucket so the longer we can keep it to invested readers, the more likely it is to continue.

The comment column awaits.

And in case you're interested, here's the run down from last week's Chum Bucket:

Total queries: 18

1. Not for me/some comments on why: 8
2. Not for me/some comments on correct category: 4
3. Suggestions to improve red hot mess queries: 2
4. Not for me/suggest other agents: 1
5. Not my category: 1
6. Query after other FPLM agent considering this has replied: 1
7. Request full: 1


mhleader said...

You know, the stats from last week's chum bucket are totally encouraging. If the QOTKU can find one query out of 18 to request a full...that's more than 5%. I think that's a tribute to (1) that Ms. Shark really is educating blog readers on how to query, and (2) that the Chum Bucket participants are paying attention.

I say, good job to all of you!

Hip-hip-hoo-CRUNCH! as Ms. Shark takes a Bite out of Queries!

Hilary said...

Your Toothy Majesty,

How do you feel about chum submitting Bucket queries outside your categories? Is it preying on your good nature (if chum can prey!)--would your "I don't rep that" include the subtext "you're wasting my time & didn't do your homework?" I know it's not a query critique, but it would be kind of a thrill to submit to Her Sharkiness when my query is ready...

thank you for everything you do!

Elissa M said...


I can't truly speak for Her Sharkiness, but I wouldn't send a query in a category I know she doesn't rep. My WiP fits this description, so I am resigned not to participate.

Chum Bucket, as you pointed out, is not a critique. My query will only garner a "not my category" response. What good does that do me?

Am I secretly hoping my query will be so amazing, Ms. Reid will suddenly decide to start repping a category in which she has no expertise, no editorial connections, and which she probably can't sell? Do I imagine she'll pass it to a colleague who does rep my category along with a note saying, "You'd be nuts to pass this one up"? Or perhaps I believe I might get a critique even knowing Chum Bucket isn't about critiques?

No, no, and no. Chum Bucket is a wonderful thing, but unless I decide to write a completely different genre, I realize it's not a thing for me.

You won't be black-listed for sending your query, I'm sure. But I don't see what you'll accomplish by doing so.

Amy Schaefer said...

The Chum Bucket FAQs cover this in #4: "Query for anything you want but here are the things I'm NOT actively looking for."

I feel your pain, Hilary. I'm tempted by the Chum Bucket, too, but Janet doesn't rep my category so I'm going to hold back. (Even though it is soooo haaarrd not to just give it a whirl anyway.)

Luckily, I will be out of the house at 7pm, so I won't do anything foolish. Well, nothing query-related, anyway.

Megan V said...

I'm in the same position. I'd love to query the Shark, especially during the Chum Bucket time frame, but the Shark isn't actively seeking my category. So I won't. Simple as that. Luckily, we can all keep reading this AWESOME blog :D

Mark Songer said...

I'm curious. Has the volume of submissions for any one particular "Chum Bucket" session caused Her Sharkiness to say "We're going to need a bigger boat"?

Black Cat said...

If we've been part of the Chum Bucket before, been chomped, but now have a much better story and query, would it be okay to participate again, or is it one and done?

Janet Reid said...

You're welcome to query but the reply is going to be "this is outside the area that I acquire in, and you really want someone who knows the category to rep your work."

Mark, the only time we need a bigger boat is when my ego gets puffed up. (ie a lot)

Black Cat, normally it's one and done, but the Chum Bucket is here to break the usual rules. Requery if you've
revised. Expect an extra level of scrutiny and the wrath of Fin if you haven't improved enough.

Next Chum Bucket: 11/20/2014

miz "b" said...

Oh, your most exalted Sharkiness, I am not ready to send a query, but I have a question on how often the chum bucket takes place, because although I have been following you for some months now, this is the first time I've seen it posted in your daily missives.

I have learned so much from the questions (not to say foibles) of others. Even if I never query you ( catagories of books represented and all) my queries to others will be better for reading your blog. OK, sucking up now done,
BTW: what did you decide visa-vi the peach silk drapes?