Lately I’ve gotten a number of emails from authors who’d like me to feature their query in my regular weekly “About My Query” posts (or AMQ for short). And I thought it would be helpful to put up the guidelines for such here, as a single reference point, and so that I don’t have to say the same thing multiple times.
What I don’t do: just pick random queries that are sent to me for consideration as an agent to post and pick apart.
What I do: every few weeks, I will put out a call on my blog for queries to post. Then, and only then, should you send me your query in an email with the subject line “About My Query: YOUR TITLE”, where “your title” of course represents your actual book’s title. All of these emails should be emailed to email@example.com, NOT to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll anonymize your name and use your initials or some other nickname that you request. (WordPress doesn’t think “anonymize” is a word, but I like, so I’m using it! Also, FreeDictionary.com totally says it is, so there.)
Once I get your query for an AMQ post, I will email you with the date that it will be posted. At any point before that time, if you change or revise your query, I ask that you email me back with your edited query, so that I can post the most up-to-date letter.
I do things this way because, in the past, I just let people send me AMQ posts whenever they felt like it, and I often ran into the problem of posting queries only to get comments from the author that said, basically, “Oh, this old thing? Yeah, I completely changed it, and I got an agent, and I just sold my book for a bazillion dollars.”
When I do open my mailbox for AMQ posts, I’m hoping that I won’t have to set a specific number of how many posts I’m looking for. So far, I’ve been able to take what I get and schedule posts for a few weeks (somewhere between 5 and 8, maybe). If I get 25 next time, I think I may have to cap it at a lower number — in which case, yes, I will let those authors who are over the cap know to try again in a few weeks.
So, them’s the facts. Any questions I haven’t answered? Put ’em in the comments, and I’ll answer them there. And stay tuned — I expect to put out a new call for queries shortly!
21 thoughts on “About My “About My Queries””
Questions you haven't answered . . . .
Ooh, I've got one! How do you keep a New York Style cheesecake from cracking apart in the oven?
But your cake pan inside a pan of water. BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN REMOVING IT FROM THE OVEN. Total burn hazard. An easy way to get it in the oven is to pour it into the bigger pan (the one without the cheesecake) after you put the cake in. Then no splashy splashy. The water will lessen the harshness of the oven and keep things nice and even
Joe – Buy it pre-cooked from a New York bakery!
Yay! I've been waiting for this post, or technically the one that you haven't posted yet, but soon! 🙂
If a query rocks your socks would you request to see more? Or are AMQ queries off limits for professional review?
Brandon — If I love it, I'll ask to see more… and have done so within recent memory.
Queries for completed MS's only – correct? (Yes, it's as obvious as a hairy mole, but you'd be surpirsed what you might get if it's not specified).
Shannon – Just as you wouldn't send a real query for a ms that wasn't complete, I'll ask that you don't send an AMQ for one either.
Coincidentally, a New York bakery is where all my half baked ideas come from!
To piggy-back on Brandon Crowder's question, if you don't request a partial when you critique a query here, does that mean you (probably) won't request one if/when you see it again in your normal query pool?
Does critiquing a query now affect an author's chance of success when querying you later?
Krista – I have requested material on revised queries I saw after a run through the AMQ process. After all, what I'm saying in my remarks about a query is why I would or would not be interested in seeing more. If you make changes, and hit those points that make me what to see something, and then show it to me later, then yeah, I'm going to ask for it.
But to also answer Molly's question, even if you make all the changes I might suggest in an AMQ post, I still might now say yes, for various reasons.
What happened to the snow we were supposed to get–it is the weekend, right?
I missed where/when you posted the last request for AMQ submissions. Have you decided when you might do it again. I recognize query writing is an art unto itself and I'd love some feedback.
Are you also interested into books in need of translation, if the english synopsis would trill you? I'm a published author from a tiny country with an exotic language 🙂
I meant thrill you…
Hello, everyone! I had a comment that is more of a question to all who may have some advice for me.
After two and a half years of working on my first middle grade manuscript, I spent the last two weeks reading and re-reading the full manuscript for typos and other errors, as did two of my friends who were proofreading it or me.
I sent out some query letters this past Tuesday. To my horror, it was only right after sending them that I noticed two typos. I couldn't believe I'd somehow over looked them; I think I was just so excited to be sending out queries, I didn't see them.
But what should I do? Would it be out of protocol to either send an e-mail apologizing for the typos?
I'm feeling pretty terrible about the situation, as you can imagine. Considering none of the agents have probably read the query letter yet, is there any way for me to salvage this fiasco? or do I just keep quiet and hope for the best?