Querying Too Soon

A big piece of advice I read on so many blogs is: Don’t query too soon.

Sound advice, if you ask me. Did I query too soon? You betcha! You dork, some might say. 🙂 So why did I do it? Honestly? Lack of knowledge. Really, there is so much advice out there…great advice! Problem is, new authors don’t always realize what they don’t know. Hey! That’s me. I know it frustrates agents; I see the blog posts all the time about some faux pas a novice writer made–a mistake I likely made over the last several months. All of them are screaming, “LISTEN, DAMN IT!” or darn it for some.

Really it’s a shame. The information is out there. Trust me! I’ve run across so much I didn’t know. And I cringe every time I pick up a new piece of information which shows I’ve flubbed again. I have so many burning bridges for Shadow Cat, I have to toss it to agents from a distance these days. Here, catch! Thankfully those bridges mend themselves when it comes to new projects. 🙂

So! You’ve queried too soon. Now what? I’ll tell you what! Do more research! Make those revisions! Write more! and get back out there and query (but hopefully not too soon). 🙂

Are you one of the naive ones who’s queried too soon? Share your story.

0 thoughts on “Querying Too Soon

  1. Raises hand.

    I came across your blog this morning while doing my morning Google Alerts. 😉 When I saw the title of the blog, I knew I had to drop in.

    Back when I started, I didn’t want to sub. There were a lot of reasons for it but, suffice it to say, when I finally decided to I spent about a month researching agents, learning about the “perfect” query letter, and getting my stuff together. After that, I held my breath, sent my stuff out, and thought that was that. I received some partial requests, as well as some R’s, and was too insecure at the time to keep pushing forward. After coming across two websites and purchasing some of their material, I decided to sub my stories to two e-presses on whim (I knew absolutely nothing about e-pub at the time) and received my acceptance letters within six weeks. So what’s the problem with that? Not much, aside from the fact that two of the places (a publisher and an agent) I really wanted to land my books contacted me just after I signed my contracts asking for fulls. It’s one of those “you never know” kind of things, but I often wonder.

    Patience is one of the hardest things you have to learn in this business. And it SUCKS. Oh man, does it suck. There is nothing worse than when you wrap up a book and you want to share it. However, it’s been my experience that rushing never helps — it only hurts. A year ago, I had no idea just how little I knew about formatting, sentence structure, etc that editors are so fantastic at correcting. If anything, I can say I’m grateful to have been accepted at smaller e-presses b/c I’ve learned so much from them. It’s exactly like you said — it’s amazing how little you truly know. I thought I knew everything I possibly could until I started meeting new authors and hearing about the numerous presses out there.

    Excellent post. Much luck and well wishes in your writing aspirations!

  2. I’ve also found myself needing to be patient. I don’t know about others, but I definitely have the “now” syndrome. Congrats on your contract. I’ve talked to other writers who’ve gone with the small press/epub route and many have similar opinions as you: It’s a wonderful learning experience.

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