My Query Reading Process

Today I want to talk a little bit about what my process for working through the slush pile of queries is. The agency gets a lot of queries, and tackling the inbox can be a little daunting, but I’ve devised a system that works pretty well for me.

I normally go through a set of 20-30 queries at one time. I open each email in the order I receive them. If it’s an easy no (something we don’t rep or something really poorly written), I send an immediate rejection. If I think there’s even a little potential, I’ll mark the email as unread and come back to it later.

Then I go back and reread queries. Some I’ll send a rejection on the second go through. Some I’ll mark as unread again. If the queries have sample pages, I’ll look at those then. Repeat the process until the queries have sufficiently been whittled down. I make requests from whatever is left.

For a batch of 20-30 queries I request 0-2 partials. I maybe once asked for 3, but that’s pretty rare. Also, I requested more when I was newer. Then I get a new batch of queries and the process starts again!

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2 thoughts on “My Query Reading Process

    • I’ve requested fulls from contests, but I don’t think I’ve requested any from queries. Having a full sitting around in my inbox seems much more intimidating than just 50 pages, even though I know I don’t need to keep reading if I’m not loving it. Also, I think requesting a full gets the author’s hopes up more, which I don’t want to do if I’m just trying to get a better feel for the writing.

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