Essential Tool for Querying

I know I have mentioned this briefly a couple of times in my regular updates but I thought it would be good to have this locked and loaded on The Writing Piazza’s resources page too. It’s a tool that is really useful for anyone who is or will be querying agents and/or publishers in order to get your manuscript published by traditional methods. That tool is Query Tracker.

The website touts itself as “the web’s most advanced database of Literary Agents.” Now I haven’t dug into the nether regions of the internet to verify this claim, but I know I have found this tool to be extremely helpful. Oh, and did I mention it’s free?! Of course there are premium options that cost money, but I’ve found it’s suited my purposes just fine without costing me a cent.

There are oh, so many things you can do. You can look up agents, most of whom have their submission requirements listed right there on the website so you don’t need to go to their individual websites to find them. (Though if you’re like me you’re going to do that anyways just to be safe.) It also has some notes from other people who have queried the agents before which is also useful.

It has information on publishers too but it doesn’t have as many publishers listed as it does agents. Still, it’s a great resource to have all in one place. It also has a place to “socialize” though I’ve never utilized this option so I’m not entirely sure what said feature does exactly. But this site allows you to search for authors and publishers by name or by another really useful search filter, by genre. This is something you should always check before querying anyone. You want to make sure they represent or accept manuscripts for the genre in which you write. You don’t want to waste precious time querying someone who doesn’t rep your type of book.

The final part of query tracker that I find extremely important, is that it keeps track of your queries. You just find the agent you’re querying and click a little box and it adds them to your list. You choose the date that you sent your query and then you go back after you’ve gotten a response from the agent (whether positive or negative) and mark that date and their response. You can also note agents that you want to query later and it will add those to your list with a special symbol that shows you that you haven’t queried them yet.

The great thing about giving them this information? It means the site can give you a general idea of where you are in a particular agent’s slush pile. It looks at how many other authors have submitted to the agent, when they submitted and whether they’ve heard back or not. It can then give you an approximation of when you might expect to hear back from the agent (as long as other people are querying them).

This tool is also useful for helping you keep track of who you have and have not queried. You don’t want to send a query to the same agent more than once, that’s a big no-no. (Not to be confused with sending a query to someone else in the agency which is often acceptable after receiving a rejection from the first agent or not hearing back for 3-4 months. Just be sure to check their submission guidelines, they will tell you if you can’t query to other agents in the agency after receiving a rejection/no response.)

FYI another no-no is querying more than one agent in an agency at the same time.

So if you’re going to query or you’ve already started, it’s not to late to sign up with Query Tracker. It will help keep you organized and help you do some research on agents before you query. And did I mention it’s free. 🙂

If after fully utilizing Query Tracker you’re still looking for more agents to query, you can always purchase this book:

It’s mostly centered on the U.K. but it has number of U.S. based agents and publishers as well as a ton of other tips and advice. (Fangirl side note, this is what J.K. Rowling used when she was querying.) It’s totally worth the investment for the tips and advice alone!

So that’s our post for today. I hope I’ve converted some of you to believers for Query Tracker. If you’d like to view our other articles for writing and publishing and building your web presence, click on this link: Resources for Authors. And don’t forget, new resources go up each week so keep an eye out for those new articles.

Until we meet again.

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