Tuesday, February 08, 2022

au courant or oh no?

Dear Shark

Long-time reidster with a question: does the thinking/details of the June 06, 2017 posting ("Lit mag subs before querying or publication") still apply, or are there any updates 4.5 years later?

Dear Chum,

You're right to seek an update, even though in this particular case I think my post stands as written.

Lots of things change in publishing even though it is the most glacial of industries.
A few of those changes come to mind:

1. Fewer interns. If you think an intern is reading your query, you're probably wrong.

2. Almost no one accepts queries by mail.

3. Too many agents have moved to no-response-means-no.

4. Query portals rather than directly emailing

5. Social media.

The last one changed the game,  probably forever.

It's made it much more difficult to offer any kind of advice in a public forum because the blowback can be catastrophic.

I regret that a lot since I thought I was helping people by talking about query pitfalls.

The pile-on I got two years ago made me run another cost benefit analysis, and shutting up won the day. (Just this weekend an agent made a comment about word count limits that set off another rumpus.)

When you see advice of any kind on the internet, make sure it's current. Like comps, no more than three years old.

Any questions?


Kitty said...

No questions. Off to Wordle. [Darn that Donnaeve ;~)]

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Understood. My wordle was 2/6 today - I crushed it. And that will carry me through today. Hi everyone. I still love all of you.

Amy Johnson said...

My sympathy to anyone who's experienced a pile-on, especially for trying to do a little good in this world. Been there. Thank you, Janet, for all the good you do. It's appreciated.

Way to go, Elise! Took me three today. I needed all six yesterday, and a heap of strategizing. A great day to all!

Donnaeve said...

Haven't done Wordle since I bragged on myself - but now, Elise.

Comps no less than 3 years can be a daunting task. I'm writing a Civil War novel at the moment - and the best comps out there were published in '97, '02 and '05. Yikes.

JRL said...

So does this mean that the Query Shark has gone out to sea???

Adele said...

If I had a question it would be "where did you get the great cat picture" but I have a feeling that everybody knows that but me, so I won't ask. Not engaging much in social media means I miss a lot of the good stuff.

I got piled on just before Christmas, after answering an innocuous question in a civil manner on FB. Happily my career wasn't involved; I would be devastated if it were. I'm giving that FB group its space and now I have lots more time to write. Win-win!

Julie Weathers said...

Donnaeve The novel people keep comparing The Rain Crow to was published in 1936. I shant mention the title as I would never mention it in public anyway.

Finding good CW novels to comp isn't easy.

I'm sorry for anyone who has experienced the pile ons. Another reason to avoid the dumpster fire that is social media.

When we used to order chicks, (you can order them through seed catalogs and have them delivered by mail) we also had to order a tar treatment.

The tar treatment was to put on chicks who had gotten a little scratch or cut because the other chicks would peck at it until they pecked them to death. The black tar would cover up the wound and they would leave them alone. Social media reminds me of those chicks. They see a wound and go after the wounded chick until they kill it.

Anyway, I hope all are doing well in this upside-down world.

C. Dan Castro said...

Thanks, Janet!

Kregger said...

Just like everything else on this planet, anything of value to the many is degraded by the vociferous few.

AJ Blythe said...

I am very happy about the shift to a query portal - you get an auto-response from that so you know the query has been received. I've had too many email queries where I haven't had an auto-receive response, than crickets for months (assume NORMAN), but I'm left wondering if the query was ever received or it if was gobbled by the cyber gremlins.