A New Journey, Part II

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my efforts to find an agent, to go the traditional route with my latest completed novel. At the time, I was in the process of completing a spreadsheet with agents I was interested in querying.

Following that post and with a burst of energy and enthusiasm, I sent out a handful of queries. A week later, I sent out another handful of queries. And then I lost that energy and enthusiasm.

One of the seeming articles of faith in the publishing world is that publishers and agencies shut down during the holiday season. Most authors I see comment on this process seem to believe that sending queries to agents between Thanksgiving and the New Year is a pointless effort. Better to just wait a few weeks before giving it a try. That’s one of the reasons I took a break from querying.

Yesterday, I went back to it, sending out another handful. As of now, I’ve sent out 16 queries and received 3 rejections. I’m committed to sending out another 25-30 queries in the next week or two. That will be it. If nothing comes of those queries, I’ll go back to self-publishing. Although I may try some direct queries to publishers who accept unagented submissions.

In the meantime, I wanted to provide you with some additional resources if you are pondering the traditional publishing route.

First, there is a wonderful website called Writer Beware, operated by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The website has a wealth of information about agents, publishers, self-publishing, vanity presses, and other issues related to the publishing world. It also has a blog that regularly provides updates about agent and publishing scams out there. Guess what? There are a lot. I highly encourage any writer looking to publish to check this website out.

Second, there is Query Shark, a website devoted to helping writers improve the queries they are submitting to agents and publishers. The hosts of this site post queries they’ve received for review and then critique it. Sometimes brutally. But you can learn a lot about how to craft a query letter from reading their posts and critiques. Or better yet, submit your query letter to them and experience it directly. (I’m not sure how active this blog is. The last post was from last June, but even without any new posts, there are 335 posts critiquing 335 different query letters.)


  1. Chuch Litka says:

    I enjoy watching Alexa Donne Youtube videos on traditional publishing. She’s a YA author, but her insights into getting traditionally published seem right on. Videos here:
    Not that I have any interest in traditional publishing, I just find the business interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. kingmidget says:

      Thank you! I will check her out.


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