I’ve written posts on when it’s time to revise and when it’s time to wait, but I started this blog after I’d started querying DUET, so I didn’t have a reason to write about when it’s time to query. Until now. Because even though I still have a few DUET submissions out there, it’s time to give DEXELON a chance.
Which brings me to the angst-inducing question of when it’s time to query. I don’t have a perfect answer for this, and anyone who does is lying to you. Now, I can tell you when it’s definitely not time to query:
- If no one else has read it (made this mistake with the MS I rarely own up to)
- If only a couple of people have read it (made this mistake with the first MS I do claim)
Oh well. We all have to start somewhere. Assuming you know better than to query without getting solid feedback from honest critique partners, it all comes down to your gut feeling. I have to admit, I’ve trusted my gut before and it’s been wrong. Cases in point:
- CAVEBOY – I really thought I knew what I was doing with this one. I researched, I found a couple of people to read it for me, and I thought it was ready. It so wasn’t. But I revised and queried more and learned a lot from the process.
- DUET – I’ve shared this story here, but I missed a critical step with this project. I never considered that I was writing my character at the wrong age. By the time an agent requested an R&R, I’d already wasted opportunities with many of the agents at the top of my list. It’s finally what it should be, and I hope the agents who still have it will recognize that, but it’s time to make DEXELON my priority.
How do I know THE DEXELON TWINCIDENT is ready for agents? It’s not because it’s perfect. I’ve learned that it never will be. I could keep sending it to new CPs, and they’d keep giving me comments. That’s just how it works. Someone could send me something they think is perfect, and I’ll find things I think they should fix because we all read with different viewpoints. What it ultimately comes down to is that you have to trust you’ve made it as strong as you can. I’m at that point. I’ve gone through three rounds of full critiques, plus another round of the first third of the book, plus my family members who read just for enjoyment. I’ve weighed the comments I’ve received from all readers and decided what I needed to fix and what I felt should stay the way it is. I know it’s the best possible manuscript it can be … for now. If an agent has something more for me, I’ll take another look at it.
So, yesterday I sent THE DEXELON TWINCIDENT out into the world, but I’m being more cautious than ever. I started slow, and I’ll wait for responses before I send out more. I know the value of those first impressions, and I won’t waste them. In the meantime, I’ll wait. And pray. And start working on my next project.
How do you know it’s time to query? Any other tips?