Querying: We Hates It!

Slogging through the Query trenches. In which there is a lot of angst and some hot chocolate.


You guys, this is hard. I was doing so well, keeping a positive attitude and reminding myself that other authors have stories of querying and getting rejected hundreds of times over a period of years before they got published. Now I’m sitting here in Gollum mode, both sides of my personality going at it with me in the middle quavering “Guys, can we just stop for a minute, maybe have some hot chocolate? A little break? No? OK.”

My practical side is calmly reminding me: You’ve been at this roughly three months. You just started querying in November. You’re querying two finished manuscripts and you’ve got two more in progress with a good idea of where they’re going, not to mention all the stuff on the back burner. You’ve got the start of a series, with a solid idea and unique setting behind it! Hakuna your tatas honey.

My insecure author side (whimpering): No one wants this hypothetical series. They won’t even look at your first finished book for it. It’s too short, it’s a novella and NO ONE is buying novellas. Every single answer is a form answer that goes ‘sorry, not for us/intriguing but not for me right now/I don’t rep novellas.’ A mountain of #pass is all you’re seeing. You might as well give up now.

Practical me: You’ve had some very encouraging responses, quit that. It’s more like a hill of #pass, stop exaggerating. From that agent at Soul Mate Publishing to your beta reader, people like your story. Every piece of critique you get is making it better. So what it’s short? E-books are selling like crazy and they prefer novellas in that format. That’s what hybrid publishers are for.

Insecurity: Encouraging replies are a fart in the wind when you’re querying. They didn’t exactly lead to a partial or full request, did they? Yeah, no. No one wants your book. Give up, stop writing, or at least write something people want to buy right now. Get that stupid muse of ours on board with this. Highlander erotica is selling.

Practical me: Um. . . Nope. For one thing, we know nothing about Highlander stuff other than what’s in Braveheart (the most historically inaccurate movie just about ever) and although I will concede that David Tennant is yummy the muse is just not feeling it. She’s a contrary minx and we know this. Someone will give our books a chance. That’s all we need. You just have to hang in there until that happens.

Me in the middle: Hey guys? How about that hot chocolate now. Can we go buy some marshmallows? Also, crazy people don’t know they’re crazy, so I’m going to just say we’re normal.

Insecure me: I like marshmallows.

Practical me: They’re like sprinkles in a cup. Avengers assemble, and head for Grocery Outlet.

picture credit: pinterest.com/pin/208573026465126301/ via Anna Rettberg

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