So why not share our precious with the publishing world?
What’s the worst thing that could happen?
Embarrassment. Ridicule. A sudden onset of turrets (Yes, you will suddenly have a strong desire to put steeples on your house like on the opening of Scooby Doo.).
And then the other possibility.
You ruin your budding career.
Hey, it happens. Ask any agent/editor. They likely have a list of authors who will never get a book deal from them. Maybe the author is an asshole (I tried to find a more appropriate word, but really, asshole, is the only one that truly fits). Maybe the author plagiarized. Or worst of all, maybe the author drunkenly groped the agent/editor at a conference. Whatever the reason, authors do get blacklisted. And sometimes that happens at the query stage.
Not that this is any author in RMFW, but sometimes authors get desperate to publish. DESPERATE. I’m talking stalking agents online to find out their favorite chocolate and sending a box full to their home address. Or authors who send bad-very bad-queries. I don’t mean grammar and structure. I mean, queries that border on crazy.
Let’s quickly review the query don’ts:
- Don’t requery the same agent/editor with the same project again and again. It makes you look crazy.
- Don’t EVER respond to a rejection, even if it’s a thank you (unless the agent/editor gave you significant feedback).
- Don’t be a pain in the butt. It’s hard to wait for a response. It’s even harder to wait for a rejection. You want to rage against the unfairness of the gatekeeper and their form email rejection. You want answers as to why your query was rejected. You want a book deal, damn it.
Think about what the agent/editor wants. They want to publish good great books. They want great authors to work with. People who make their deadlines and don’t argue too much during the editorial process. They want nice people. Better yet, they want author who sell millions of copies. So if you are a pain in the ass, you better have a book so good the world falls in love with it.
I sort of got off topic of my original intent, which was to advise you not to send queries on your NaNoWriMo projects or really any project during the holidays. Sure, publishing houses and agencies are still open, but people are often out of the office.
Then comes January, when everyone who’s ever made a resolution to publish a book sends a query out…
Then there is February….and Valentine’s Day…what if the agent just got dumped….
April showers can’t be a great sign for April….
June is wedding season….
August is just too damn hot and no one in publishing is in during the summer….
I hope you get my point. The right time to query is when you feel your book is ready, and when the agent/editor you want is accepting queries.
Do you have query parameters you follow? And what are they?