I’ve always been pretty good at managing my query inbox. Even when that inbox was actually a mailbox. Part of it is my own obsession for order. Part of it stems from my love of the hunt for the next great book. Those two things alone, however, don’t promise a well-managed inbox. What does is consistency.
Not a day goes by, except maybe on the weekend, when I’m not in my Query Manager. For me, queries are a way to ease into the day. Usually the first thing I check every morning while I sip coffee and start-up my email.
I get about 400 queries a month, about 10 a day. In all honesty, it shouldn’t take me more than 15 minutes every day to read and respond to those queries. If I’m really debating something it might take me 30 minutes.
When I am reading queries you’ve either managed to grab my attention or not. If you have, I request more material. If you haven’t I reject. I do request sample pages, but I would say I only actually read them once or twice a month. For me, sample pages are only if I’m on the fence about a query and need to see the writing. Otherwise, it’s all about the query.
Of course, I am not one of those people who
How Query Manager Helps
The beauty of
All of my query responses (and I have at least five different ones) are programmed into QM. I just need to pick the one that fits best. I can also request a submission, forward it to another agent and, the best part, see how often you’ve queried BookEnds and who.
In other words,
There is No One System
Now there’s no perfect way to manage queries and every agent is different and every genre is different. I know, for example, picture book agents will often read attached material in lieu of the query since it’s about the same length. And I know some agents always read samples while others never bother even requesting any.
I’m certainly not saying my way is the right way. I’m just hoping to give some perspective in what the process is like from the agent side.