A light hearted look at submitting Queries
edited: Wednesday, February 16, 2005
By Jake George
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2005
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A glib look at how to submit queries
Who to send your query to and hope to get a response.
I have talked to a number of very good writers who, have had one or more books published, and many of us have fallen into the, “My work sucks,” trap. I know my work sucks because I get back at least three query letters a week saying “Blah, blah…BLAH, we think your work sucks, but someone else may love it”
OK so I jest a little bit. Humor is how I deal with rejection. I know my work doesn’t stink. I wrote it so it has to be outstanding doesn’t it? The Great Spirit created me and he doesn’t make crap does he? Well if my reading is any judge, yea he makes crap and lots of it gets published. So why not my crap????
So to cut down on your CQ, (Crap Quotient) do some market research. It will save you tons of rejection letters from agents and publishers who did not handle you genre anyway. For example, I wrote an action adventure book for young adults. OK, seems like it should be a large enough market that I could find a publisher. But NO! I had to go and add a character that is a lesbian. You see in my culture homosexuality is not a no/no but is accepted. Many healers are gay. What they lack in not having children they can put into helping others.
So a market research on Native American action novels showed over two hundred titles. Not to shabby. Of the two hundred titles, there were almost forty publishing houses that printed them or had agents who represented them. Still pretty good odds for finding a publisher or agent one would think. Ahhh,,, My friend think again. Of the forty publishers over half were self published and had no interest in publishing works than their own. Ten were vanity presses where you had to pay to have your book published.
Now I am down to ten serious book publishers who print or have printed Native American action novels for young adults. Further market research shows three of them only accept mss from agented writers. So now down to seven. Three state no overt homosexuality and one was a Christian publisher who wanted stories on how Christ changed heathen’s lives around.
So I am now down to three publishers whom I can submit my work to and have a hope it will get looked at favorably. If these three say my book stinks am I done for?
Not by a long shot! I will look at alternative presses and who knows I may be the next Zane Gray with my Native American action novels. I know it is possible because I read at least four books a week as part of my market research. I pick them at random from the library. I have found some outstanding works this way. I have also found some outstanding badly written books that got PUBLISHED. So I send my query letters off to those publishers.
Point is if you want to get published and you persist you will succeed. I have two books published. One in the self help medical genre and the other in Native American poetry. I still send out query letters. Being published does help but still no pick up on my latest works.
If you do your market research you can see who is printing your works and save your time and money on sending out queries to those who would not have considered it before.
Author's Note. Grandfather's Song has been sold and published. Changed it from young adult to adult and it sold. Just had to look at it a different way.
Happy writing folks,