Not Getting Requests

I’ve been going through a ton of queries the past couple weeks. One came with a note that caught my interest.

I participated in an Agent One-on-One boot camp, and a well-known agent critiqued my submission package. She said that the first two pages of my ms were “flawless” and gave me a few tweaks to make to my synopsis and query. I made the revisions and sent out twelve queries. After receiving three rejections and no requests, I revised once more and sent out twelve more queries. I’ve gotten two rejections and nothing else (it’s only been a week). The agent was so positive about my submission package and I had high hopes, but there is obviously something wrong with it. I’m hoping you can tell me what it is.

I have a very talented writer friend who has been pitching a book and not getting any requests. I’ve read her query, and I think it’s perfectly sound. So why isn’t she (or the author above) getting requests?

I talk about this some in the video I did for the YA WordNerds, but I’ll expand a little here. The quality of your writing is only one of many factors affecting whether or not you get a request. Of course, it’s a very large factor but not the only one.

Maybe you’re writing about something that the agent is tired of or just doesn’t like. Maybe the agent is hangry. Maybe the agent is just really busy. Maybe somebody else just sold something similar recently.

That said, if you aren’t getting requests, there might be something wrong with your query. But if you’ve done revisions and had good critique partners look at it, then don’t worry too much about not getting requests. 

And I know I say this a lot, but there’s always the next book. Waiting isn’t as bad as it sounds.

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4 thoughts on “Not Getting Requests

  1. From what I’ve seen, quite a few querying writers don’t take the market into account. Not that you should write for the market (because I don’t think you should), but that if you’re querying a popular genre like urban fantasy or a YA dystopian, your manuscript has to be that much more awesome to stand out. It’s not impossible, of course, but it is harder.

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