How to Start Querying, Part Five: Go!

Hey guys! Today is the last post in the How to Start Querying Series! Now that you have your query letters all ready to go, it's time to *gulp* hit the send button.

1. Go over your letter one last time. Make sure everything sounds right, flows, and doesn't have mistakes. It's also a good idea to make sure you have the agent's guidelines correct (especially if you're doing a multiple submission, because guidelines can get confusing).

2. Get your email ready. Again, be sure to follow the guidelines the agent has. If the agency says no attachments, they really mean no attachments! Put the query letter first, then sample chapters and/or your synopsis after that. Make sure everything looks good, and triple check to make sure you have the right email address!

3. Hit send. Do it. Just do it.

4. Keep track of everything. This is especially important if you're doing a multiple submission. Keep track of dates! Write down the date you sent out your letter(s), and mark your calendar for the estimated day you'll get a response (i.e, if the agent says they respond in 3 weeks or less, mark your calendar for 3 weeks after you send the letter.) You can also keep track of when to follow-up or send a nudge email.

5. Wait. And, here we are. The absolute hardest part of the querying process. After you hit send, you'll probably feel jittery, nervous, and you might feel tempted to sit there clicking refresh over and over to see if you've gotten a response yet. Well, I hate to say it, but suck it up, because you're going to have to wait. There's no telling when you'll get a response, and as unfortunate as waiting is, it's just a part of life! In the meantime, start plotting or writing your next novel. Read a book, watch a movie, reconnect with friends you abandoned due to your constant state of rewriting or editing, etc. The possibilities are endless. Just distract yourself! You have a lot of waiting to do :)

6. When you get a response... Let yourself freak out. A lot of articles I've read say to stay calm, but where's the fun in that? This is a big deal! It's okay to be excited or nervous. When you open the email, read it carefully and slowly.
          A. If it's a rejection... Let yourself be disappointed, but not for days and days and days! Rejection is inevitable, and you have to drill that into your head. I have a whole separate post about how to deal with rejection, which you can check out here. Seriously, though--don't beat yourself up or wallow in rejection. It'll only hurt you in the end!
          B. If it's an offer... FREAK THE CRAP OUT. THIS IS A BIG DEAL. Personally, I've never experienced receiving an offer from an agent but if I did I would probably cry. So if you want to cry, do it. Totally do it.

7. Repeat! (if it's a rejection, obviously)

And there you have it! A step-by-step guide on how to start querying. So get writing, get editing, and get yourself an agent!

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil." Ephesians 6:11