What Nobody Told Me About Querying

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I’ve been thinking about “trusting your gut” a lot lately. You see, there are so many great articles and resources on how to write the perfect query. There are just as many articles and checklists on who to query and how to choose the right agent.

All these things are necessary and your first step in the door, after writing a solid, polished story, of course.

But I think what nobody told me before I decided to query seriously was how much your gut instinct matters.

Because I started with the same lists as everyone else. I wanted an agent who is professional, enthusiastic, a go-getter. Most importantly, I wanted someone who would always be a champion for my stories and my goals. And I only queried those people who I felt would get me and communicate directly and kindly with me.

There are a ton of amazing agents out there who can sell your story. But that’s not the only part of the process that matters. Someone can be great on paper and still not quite the agent who gels best with you and your work.

Will your agent know how to keep you focused on the days you get rejections? Because all of us will get at least one.

Will your agent know when to push you on a project and when you should probably take a breather and come back to it?

When you edit a manuscript, will your agent and you be able to discuss major revisions and both feel respected and heard? Are your personalities going to clash on an idea or how to execute it?

I think that is the biggest thing I’ve learned since signing with my agent.

Luckily, I have an agent who makes communication and the editing process a positive experience. I have an agent who sincerely listens and who I trust completely to help me make my stories the best they can be. I know my agent goes above and beyond in her pitches and efforts to sell her clients’ manuscripts.

We’re all hungry to sign and be a step closer to putting our manuscripts out in the world.

Having the right person to go through the ups and downs with you is paramount to whether you’re going to want to keep trying on the hard days.

So, make your lists. Do your research. Be professional. Follow the rules and edit, edit, edit.

But when you are ready to take a phone call from an agent or an editor, do not forget to trust your instincts. It’s exciting to get to the next step. Still, I can promise that when you get to submissions or edits for a story you signed, your experience will depend on how you get on with the people you’re working with to create the finished product. Find the person who is the best fit for the longterm. You may have to pitch your way there, but ultimately the choice is yours to make.

Choose well.

If you find yourself hesitating, there’s a reason. Take your time and ask yourself if it feels right. I promise you won’t regret it if you follow your intuition.

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