One last post for this week of looking back into the archives, and this is a GOOD one. An important one, actually. Something I could repost almost every other month, practically. The gist of it? TRACK YOUR QUERIES!
Yes, NASA has a pretty sweet system, but all you need as a writer is a simple tracking system. And yes, I firmly believe you NEED one. This is something you should have in place before you send out your first query. I don’t want to tell you how many queries I’ve received that rightly sound familiar — a quick check of my email archives, and I can see that not only did I already receive the query within the last three months, but I already responded.
Authors, spare yourself the embarrassment of an agent responding to say, “Sorry, my decision to decline hasn’t changed in the last month since you first sent me this query.”
You may already know about QueryTracker, but you don’t need anything even this complicated, really. Use Microsoft Excel, or Google documents to create a spreadsheet. Title it the name of your manuscript, and make columns for Agent/Editor Name, Company, Email or Address, Date Sent, Material Sent, Follow-Up, and Response. Add other columns as you see fit. Before you send an email or a letter in the mail, note all the pertinent information in your log. This way, you’ll see before you send anything if you’ve already tried that agent. When you get a response, note it, and if you’d like, any helpful comments you might have received.
Thanks for hanging out with me on this stroll through the kt literary archives, and for sticking around for the past year or so! As of next week, we’ll leave the reruns in the archives where they belong, but I invite you to use the search function above, or browse by date over there to the right to see what other gems you can uncover in the forgotten mists of time.