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How Many Queries Do I Send Before Quitting

I’ve seen the question about how many queries to send before quitting talked about a lot and I’ve seen some very specific numbers floated. I don’t disagree with any of them, I’m also not sure I agree completely.

How many queries you send will differ depending on the genre you write. In my opinion, there are far more agents representing young adult than there are representing mystery. I could be kidding myself, but that’s what it seems.

Therefore a young adult writer will have a larger pool to query than a mystery writer. It’s why I think a specific number is hard to nail down.

That being said, there is definitely a finite number. you don’t want to query just any agent. You want someone who is reputable, who has sales, and who actually represents books in your genre.

Make a List & Be Ready to Quit

This means you do need to have a list of who to query. Sending me your picture book might feel like you sent out a query, but since I’m useless to you (I don’t represent picture books) it’s a waste of everyone’s time.

I would say your list is somewhere in the range of 50 agents. These are agents who represent what you write and are reputable. Reputable is just as important, if not more so. Once you hit 50 it’s time to start with something new. A new book, a new query, a fresh start.

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5 comments

  1. I currently have a list of 14 agents to query. When I get to the end of that list I’ll decide if I want to keep trying or quit with the current manuscript.

  2. I’m just starting my query process, spending a lot of time looking up agents, reading profiles, determining their preferences, etc. Most of that can be done via one or two websites, but even when I think I’ve found someone who will be receptive to my work, how do I determine if that agent is “reputable?”

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