I'm curious. Rachelle Gardener said this in her December 10th blog post "Lone Ranger Writer" (https://rachellegardner.com/lone-ranger-writer/): There are still stories of writers getting their agent through the query process, without ever networking or getting a referral or going to a conference. I thought querying was how most writers landed an agent. And unless networking includes critique partners and beta readers, surely not every writer needs to have networking, referrals or conferences to get an agent?
I was perplexed by this statement as well, until I read the entire post.
Rachelle's point is that getting feedback (going to a conference, crit groups) is an important, if not essential, part of polishing your work to publication level.
I think she's right 98% of the time.
Most of my clients have some sort of beta reader system.
But a couple do not, and they're doing just fine.
And Rachelle isn't saying one size fits all here.
But she's not talking about querying requirements either. She's talking about polishing your work.
You're quite right that most of us still get our clients from incoming queries.
Sure, there are conference finds, and referrals, but querying works.
But before you query, it really really helps if you get eyeballs other than your own on your work. If only to avoid homophones. My favorite this year is chic/sheik. The runner up is fey/fay.