Stopping Querying

Comments: 6

I'm reading on several writer's forums about how bad the book-selling industry is doing right now with the down economy. I'm hearing (reading) that agents and editors are taking on very few new projects and selecting the ones they do take on with extreme care.

So, I'm thinking of stopping my querying for the time being (months, years) until the economy improves. I have nine outstanding queries. I think I'll see what comes of them, but wait to send out any more.

My thinking is I want to wait until the market improves so I won't get a bunch of rejections that otherwise could be acceptances. There are only a finite number of agents and publishing houses and if I exhaust them now, when they're not in the buying mood, I may have lost them possibly forever.

At least that's my thinking for the time being.

Anyone disagree?

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About Paul West

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a "Prune Picker," though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

You can follower him on Twitter: @PaulWWest

Published: Wednesday, March 04, 2009

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  1. I agree, Paul. It seems like a good idea. Plus, in a year or two, you can requery the ones that passed. I've queried everyone in the known universe, so I've stopped now, too. :)

  2. That's kind of sad commentary on the times. I was hoping that books might have a spike and video games (because of expense) a dive. I guess we'll see what happens. Good luck though. At least you can send out a query, I need to get something written first!

  3. You wrote "Bones." You can still try to sell it.

  4. I'm of two minds about this. Yes, there will be more rejections, but there are some houses that are taking advantage of the situation and snapping up authors anyway, and when the economy levels out, they'll have all the authors. I think it's one of those go-with-your-gut things.

  5. I've heard that it's a good time to get into the independent publishing market.

    Is that true? If so, what are the biggest differences between independent and industry publishing?

    - Chas

  6. Thanks Tristi and Chas.

    I've decided to resume sending out queries. I think the economy is picking up (no thanks to the current administration and congress) so maybe someone will look at me more favorably.

    I recently entered a query pitch contest. Of 350 or so entries mine came in in the top 50. They didn't rank it, so I don't know exactly how high I came in. I just know I didn't make the top 10. Anyway, that was kind of encouraging.

    As for your question, Chas, independent publishing is just another way to say vanity press. If you have to pay to get published, it doesn't count as a real publication in the eyes of agents and publishers. Money should flow toward the author, not the other way around. If you book is good enough, it should attract an agent/editor. If not, then it may not good enough, or maybe you need to revise your query letter. Query writing is a tough beast at best. Good luck.