Agent, Fiction, Opinion, Publish, Query, Rejection, Writing

Take heart queriers!

In my last post, I voiced my opinion that nowadays it’s almost impossible for a writer to obtain representation through cold-querying an agent. I also asked you to share your opinions. Some of you agreed, some of you disagreed, and some of you were discouraged. Today, I’d like to address all those reactions.

If you agreed with me, you’ve surely been down the same path I trod. Enough said.

If you disagreed, you’re in good company. Jody Hedlund, whose recent blog post, in part, inspired mine, stopped by to remind me that she advised those still looking for a literary agent to query the new agents. That’s good advice. New agents are actively building their client list and are more open to cold-queries.

Some who disagreed, did so because they or a writer friend recently found representation through cold-querying. I would bet they all write YA fiction. And those that don’t, write in another hot genre. Bottom line: it is easier for some writers than others to get the attention of an agent without a referral or a prior connection, simply because of what they write, not necessarily because they are better writers than those who get form rejections.

So, for those of you who might have been discouraged by my post, take heart. Agents still need books to represent—new agents, especially. And if you can make contact with those agents through conferences, seminars, their blogs, or Twitter, so much the better.

And if the traditional route doesn’t work for you, you can query the editors at small presses. Or you can come back here and we’ll discuss Indie Publishing. Good luck to us all, whichever way we publish.

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8 thoughts on “Take heart queriers!”

  1. Thank you for sharing your results. I like reading comments of others to posts I comment on, and I sometimes do, but the truth is that time is not there to do all I wish to do. Your summary is delightful and encouraging! Thank you again! Blessings to you…


  2. Thanks for the invite to come back here to discuss our indie author journeys. I’m looking forward to it.

    In a dialog that’s sometimes contentious, your post manages to remind us that we’re all more similar than different — we’re writers. 🙂


  3. This is interesting, Linda. I think that the Canadian market is quite different from the American one. I also know that our publishing industry is leaps and bounds smaller than yours. On my last count we had 10 fiction literary agents in Canada. On my first novel I queried 5 agents. 3 answered within 5 minutes. I was refused by all 3 and didn’t go on with queries. One of those agents read the first 70 pages of my current wip and asked me to send it to her if I’m not represented when I’m done with it. I have no idea what will come, but it felt good to come so close so easily. Maybe too easily. I have no idea what agents look for, did winning a lit award make a difference, I have no idea. Anw, I’m relaying this story here to put a bright note on people querying.
    The main thing is, I think, that if you believe in yourself you will find your route, whatever it may be.


    1. I had no idea the number of agents was so different in our countries. Just one agency might have 10 agents here!

      I’m sure your having won a lit award is something that makes an agent take notice. But why would you think agent interest could come “too easily”? It sounds great to me that an agent has asked you to send her your current wip. 😉


  4. I do worry about this, I’m not going to lie. I guess all I can do is work hard, do my best, and submit. The form rejection or no response at all is the worst that will happen. I can live with that!


    1. Go for it, Julie. I was dismayed by the percentage of agents who give no response at all. They leave you wondering if they even received your email, or whether you didn’t receive their response. What if they asked for a partial and you didn’t get the email? A form rejection is better than no response at all, to me. Good luck on your agent search. 🙂


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