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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