if it’s too difficult for grown-ups, write for children

Did You Miss Me? Or Just My About My Query Posts?

pile_of_mail.jpgWell, hopefully both! I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be restarting my regular About My Query posts, now every other Friday, starting next week. Which means the phone lines are open now to submit your current query for review and critique (all phone lines are metaphorical). Here’s how to do it: Send an email to daphne.unfeasible@gmail.com with the subject line “About My Query: TITLE”, with your manuscript’s title standing in for the word TITLE. In the body of the email, paste the query letter for your completed manuscript, addressed to “Daphne”, as if I were an agent you were submitting to. There’s no need to include sample pages, though if your query letter includes a phrase like “Following please find the first 5 pages” or whatever, please feel free to leave that in.

Why all the special bells and whistles? Mostly so I can distinguish queries submitted for these posts from queries that are being submitted to me for consideration. I have never and do not ever intend to pull random queries from the query pile for these posts. All of the 80-some-odd query in the About My Query archives were sent to me specifically for critique.

I’m also happy to critique queries for genres I don’t represent, so if you’re struggling over the wording of your query for your adult spy novel or detective story, feel free to send it along. 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. Any other questions about the process, please feel free to throw them in the comments below, and I’ll answer them as soon as I can.

UPDATE: I’ve got enough queries for now. I’ll put up another post when I need more, likely in April. Stay tuned!