Decisions, Decisions, Decisions


Recently I read on one of my favorite writer's forums, a question asking how long should a writer continue to send out queries. That question intrigued me, since I've been sending out queries, off and on, for a LOOOONG time now. The answer seemed logical enough that I'll share its essence with you, my faithful followers (all 2 or 3 of you -- do I still have that many?).

The answer was something to the effect that a writer should keep querying until he/she either sells the book, or until the next book is finished. The assumption, I gathered, is that when the second one is ready, you've probably grown in your craft and the second may just sell first. If so, then the first book might be also taken more seriously and might sell as well. But those could be a BIG MIGHTs!

I also read that if you've sent out 20 or so queries without any requests for partials or fulls, you should consider re-working your query. It's obviously not catching the agents'/editors' attention. However, I can't help wondering in my case, if instead of it being the query letter could it be the subject matter? I mean, after all, my first novel is a young adult novel, set in 1965 during the Vietnam War. I call it a YA historical suspense. But how many agents/editors are interested in that genre?

So, now that the economy is bottoming out, I'm toying with whether I should resume querying, and if I do, should I keep re-working my query (I'm only on the umpteenth version now), or assume agents/editors just are not interested in my novel's subject matter?
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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: Thursday, April 30, 2009

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. . . and probably a terrorist as well! Wow. I never suspected.

Let me ask all my faithful followers (all 1 or 2 of you). Do you love your country? Do you love your family? Do you love God? Do you pray? Do you love the Constitution? Do you believe government should protect us, not coerce us?

Well, my friend, it looks like you're probably a right-wing extremist too, and maybe even a conservative terrorist as well.
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This morning I read a news article that was reporting on a NASA study. It said, in effect, that there has been a marked reduction in sunspot activity over the past several years. HMM! According to the article, it hasn't been this quiet in nearly 100 years. HMM!! And, they expect the reduction in sunspot activity to keep happening for the foreseeable future. HMM!!!

Al Gore and Michael Moore. Can either of you spell G-L-O-B-A-L C-O-O-L-I-N-G???? For that matter, can you spell at all? I'm not convinced of your intellectual abilities, or do you have something else in mind, like making money off us poor people with your cap-in-trade scheme?

Average world temperatures over the past 10 years have been COOLING! not warming. And cap-in-trade will do NOTHING to help either way, because it ain't us causing the changes in world temperature. Try looking up!

"So, what about the polar caps' ice-melt?" you might ask. First, there is some question as to the viability of the satellite imagery that reported the shrinking north polar ice cap. Also, even if the ice caps are melting in some areas, other scientists tell us they are actually growing in other areas.

Can we all spell E-L N-I-N-I-O and L-A N-I-N-I-A?

Then, there's the issue of under ocean volcanoes. They've been erupting at an increasing rate over the past several years. Might they play a role?

Obama. Take a hint. Global warming ain't happenen'! So, quit trying to get rich off us poor slobs.
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