2022 is off to a good start!
I requested my first full of the year (even though I still have three in the holding pen from last year.)
It crossed my mind that it might be useful to know how I work with incoming queries.
1. All incoming queries get filed in Incoming Queries when they arrive.
That means you can query me on Christmas Day, Sunday, 5am or midnight and it makes no difference. I won't see it till I open the file.
2. Several times a week I give the pending queries a quick skim.
I'm looking to cull the queries that are non-starters. Non-starters are things like outlier word counts, insane authors (no examples provided here to protect the guilty--if you read this blog, you're not one of them) and queries that don't tell me what the book is about.
3. The non-starters get a quick pass.
4. I flag those queries I want to read more closely.
5. I work through the flagged queries when I have odd bits of time where I can read and focus.
What I look for here is good writing and a story that engages my interest.
That means good writing gets a pass if it's not a story I'm interested in; a good story gets a pass if the writing isn't polished.
6. I pass on those queries that don't have both.
About 20% of the queries survive to this point.
7. I read the pages AND I start sniffing around your website and social media.
This is a new wrinkle. I didn't bother doing this until the pandemic just thrashed my concentration levels. I have to cull out more now cause I can read less.
What this means for you: don't put off getting an author website, or having a presence on social media.
I'm much more likely to be interested in working with someone who has shown they're cognizant of the new promotion reality. You must be present to win. Yes there are exceptions. Don't bank on being one of them.
I'm much less willing to take on someone who will need ground up coaching on how to get a website and what needs to be on it; how to sign up for Twitter (or whatever) and how to use it.
In other words, entry level is a whole lot higher than it was even two years ago.
8. I request fulls from writers who have shown me good writing, pages that compel me to read on, and a social media presence of some sort.
A word of warning: if your social media is full of political ranting (on either end of the political spectrum), you might consider revising it. Even if you think I agree with everything you say (I probably don't.)
Once I request a ms it can take a while to read and assess.
While I'm reading I'm also doing a much deeper dive on your social media. I'm not looking for things to fault you on. I'm trying to get a sense of you as a person. What that means for you: be yourself. Don't just re-tweet things you like, let me see what you're like. Tell me about things you love and things you care about. Scary I know, but it's easier to start now.