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OBVIOUS TO US, LESS OBVIOUS TO YOU

AQ is starting a new PSA series, entitled OBVIOUS TO US, LESS OBVIOUS TO YOU.

Why? Because we get some interesting emails from time to time from some of our awesome AQ users. And despite the fact that our AQ users are awesome, their emails sometimes make us realize that we take for granted what we know about the industry. In fact, some aspects of finding an agent that are obvious to us--here at AQ--seem less obvious to the average aspiring writer.


FIRST FOR LOVE, SECOND FOR FILTHY LUCRE

Okay, folks. Some of you out there in aspiring-writer-land have been with us since the beginning. You’ve spent over a year querying your little hearts out, despite the endless rejection from agents. We've gotten emails from you, wondering after 120 queries and no offers of representation, if maybe it's time to quit querying...
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SUMMERTIME CHALLENGE

Summertime is coming, and you know what that means: Conference season is here, and there's no where to hide. After all, it's not about finding a writer's conference, or workshop, or residency, or colony, or seminar, or writer's retreat, or book festival. It's about narrowing down your choices to only one. Because treating yourself like a serious writer doesn't start once you're published.
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FALSE HOPE

Writers often complain about rejection, as if it’s the worst part of this business—sending query after query and receiving nibbles for partials, only to be shot down a month later with a form rejection.

Yep. Rejection really bites. It’s isolating and painful and just plain sucks. But it’s not the worst part about this business. The worst part of this business is the prevalence of false hope—and writers are their own worst victims.
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DON'T BE AN IMMEDIATE REJECT

We all know the basic do's and don'ts of querying agents: don't make your snail mail query more than one page; don't use strange or colored fonts in your email query; do address your query to the attention of a specific agent; do include a SASE with all snail mail queries; do list your word count in your query; don't print your manuscript on both sides; don't email an agent two weeks after they've received your full manuscript, asking if they've read it yet.

Ahhh, yes...we all know the basic do's and don'ts of how NOT to become an immediate reject. But the AQ crew has done some research, and we've gathered up five "lesser known" ways... READ MORE...

ARE YOU AM, FM, OR XM?

Not all writers need agents. Yes, you heard us right. Agent Query, the mecca of the agent-pushers, is now telling you that all writers do not need agents. And it all depends on if your book is AM, FM, or XM.

Don’t get us wrong. We love our agents. The right literary agent opens up doors that you—un-networked, unpublished little writer—could never open yourself. The right literary agent will get your manuscript read by major New York editors. The right literary agent will negotiate your 18-page publishing contract. The right literary agent will help track your advances and royalties, and will shout cha-ching every time she sells your book’s subsidiary rights (foreign, audio, movie, etc). It’s the glorious fantasy of having an agent that we all desire, right? Except that there’s no point in querying agents if you haven’t written a marketable book.
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STOP THE QUERY RE-SEND

Do not re-query agents if they have not responded to your initial query. Especially if it was an email query.

Just don't.

We know for a fact that agents are getting BOMBARDED by email queries. And "bombarded" is a euphemism. Swamped. Buried. Drowned. Suffocating in a virtual slushpile of quicksand is more like it.

So why should writers care? Writers should care because more and more agents are choosing only to respond to email queries that interest them. Thus, no response is a response. And, no... your email query didn't get lost in the black vortex of cyber space. It got read, it didn't generate interest, it got deleted. Period. READ MORE...

NEED A LITTLE MORE ROMANCE IN YOUR LIFE?

We deal with a lot of aspiring writers on a daily basis, and without question, romance writers are the most resourceful, networked, in-the-know aspiring writers around. Plus, romance blogs and ezines provide industry gossip that only AQ Mom rivals. So if you're struggling with how to write a query and synopsis, or how to properly format your manuscript, we say, why not take the time to learn a thing or two from the more romantic side of publishing?
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