Querying Is A Lot Of Work

I’ve been working on my query for my latest book. Now I knew some of this coming in, but it’s a crap-load of work to query. First of all you have to write a very solid query (or at least one you feel comfortable with.) I’ve got one that I feel decent about.

So now the next step. Do you know what the next step is? It’s making a list of agents to send queries to. Do you know how you find those agents? Yeah, um, there are long, long lists available, and you can scan through THE ENTIRE LIST, searching for agents who accept queries from middle grade fiction. That’s a bad way to go, though. There are a couple of sites that list agents, and you can even do a search and weed out the ones that accept mg. Excellent, we’re on the right track.

What next? Oh yeah, now we have to go to each agents listed site and see where to send our queries. What’s that? Oh, some of the sites no longer exist? Some of the sites that do still exist do not list that agent anymore, meaning they probably no longer work there? And you mean sometimes, even if the agent is still working there, they aren’t open to queries right now?

Great, well…

Ok, so let’s just move on to the ones who are accepting queries. What’s the next step now? Oh, you mean I have to go to each agent’s site and find out how they want you to submit? Ok, no problem. Oh, so… so each agent has a different way to submit. Some want you to put the query and the first 10 pages in the body of the email. Some want the first 10 pages attached as a word doc file. Some want it attached as a pdf. Some want you to use their submission form on their site. Some also want you to send 3 chapters, or 5 chapters, or no chapters. Some want the email subject to have your name and the name of your book, some want the name of the agent only, some don’t say at all.

So you’ve made it this far, and now you submitted to several agents. Great, good, you’re all set. Replies will start rolling in anytime now. Um… no. So some agents respond asap, some in 2 weeks, some in 30 days, some in 6 months. Some say if you haven’t heard in 3 months to email again to make sure the email hasn’t been lost. Some say you won’t be contacted at all if they decline.

So yeah, that’s good.

The last step in the process, as far as I can tell, is to give up and publish it yourself, then 9 months later get a rejection from someone you barely remember sending it to in the first place.

Yet still we try it.

The thing is, I know agents have a hard time too. Agents get more queries than they can possibly deal with, and (I’m guessing) the majority are pure trash. Maybe mine is some of that, I don’t know. But I know it has to be tough. I am not in any way disparaging agents.

What I am saying is that there must be a way to sort of homogenize things. If all agents, or most, could just agree on a standard query process, even if it included much more than any particular agent wants, it would help a lot. Each agent would get what they want, and could ignore the extra. Authors could have a basic set of query items ready to go.

I’ve heard some people say that doing all this extra work is part of the process, that authors who stick it out to do this much show that they are very serious, and so it weeds out the ones who are just sending things on a whim. Yeah, well, if that’s the case, it stinks. Just saying.

However, in the long run I do think it will be worth all the work, if I can get my book published and have more backing for it. Self publishing is nice, and it’s relatively easy, but it doesn’t get you that much attention. A little extra help from a publisher might help.

Have a good weekend!

Old Stuff/Windows Frustrations/Querying

So lately we’ve been going around to garage sales and to thrift stores looking for old tech stuff. Honestly, this all kind of started when we built a retropie machine to play a lot of our old games on. If you don’t know, the retropie has emulators that let you play games from just about any old video game system out there (assuming you have the original game so that you are just format shifting and not violating any copyrights). This makes it incredibly easy to switch between anything like a Nintendo to a Sega, or whatever, and not have to hook up multiple systems. It’s all in one, so you just play whichever game you like.

Anyway, that led us to looking for older computer stuff, as well. We aren’t having the greatest luck with that, but we’re looking. I did find a Macbook G4 for $10 at a Savers the other day, and once we bought a new power cord for it from Amazon, I found out it still works, so there’s that. We’ve found a handful of the little retro-style games that are basically just a controller hooked to your screen, so that’s kind of fun.

What else…

About a week ago my system did a Windows update and my internet has been bogged down and slow ever since. To top it off, I can’t even navigate and click the same page correctly. When I’m in my email, I try to select multiple to delete and it just hangs for about 30 seconds. It’s frustrating. I used to write software, so I get that you can’t anticipate every scenario, but come on Microsoft, you can do better than this. Anyway, I rolled back one update and it seems to have helped a little, so we’ll see.

Um…

I’m about to start sending queries on my latest book. It’s an upper-middle grade novel, which is new for me, so I’m just hoping for the best.

That’s about all I got, so everyone have a good weekend!

Why Are We Still Debating Equality?

Today they are debating the Equality act on the floor of the House of Representatives of the United States.

Finally.

Except we all know this isn’t going anywhere. The Senate is controlled by… well, by Mitch McConnel, but technically by the Republicans. The right wing of the Republican party always, always, always plays to fears of their base. If we give equality to people then they will have to serve cakes to the icky gays. They will have to sell homes to us. They will have to admit we exist and they can’t get rid of us. And, of course, they always claim trans people will be going into the bathroom with your children and assaulting them. Because, ya know, the only thing stop anyone from doing that right now is that it’s illegal for them to go into the bathroom. Which, of course, ignores the fact that assaulting a child is illegal in the first place, not to mention immoral and inhuman, so if the law was going to stop them then they would not be doing it regardless of this law.

So why are we debating this? Because they want to say “religious freedom” and stop everything. That is an excuse. As I just saw someone paraphrase from the bible, you are supposed to love your neighbor. Not love your straight neighbor. Not love your cisgender neighbor. Nobody is telling everyone they have to like serving gay people. The civil rights act never forced people to like any minority, only to treat them fairly and equally. That’s all this act would do, except now for LGBTQ people.

So why are we not already treating EVERYBODY equally in the United States of America?

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Have a good weekend!