It’s no secret that I’ve been querying agents like a mad woman hoping one will nibble and ask for more materials.
While the no’s pile up and the rejection letters pour in I will keep moving forward until I’ve exhausted every possible agent out there.
But with so many queries going out how do I keep track of them? A spreadsheet is my first go to. There is a website called QueryTracker.net that a fellow blogger introduced me to and it is really cool, except if you want the ‘full’ experience and access to all their features you have to pay. I’m frugal so I use their free service and still use my own method of tracking.
I try to keep it simple and clear so I can easily see what’s going on and as I update it’s not a pain in the ass. This spreadsheet did not start off this detailed. As I’ve gone along I’ve added, removed and changed columns. I use colour to help visualize important information as well. I’ll add more colour indicators if I need to keep an eye on something specific.
What I like to keep track of:
Date Submitted: the date I submitted the query to the agent. This is important
The number: I just like to know how many submissions I’ve done
The Email: Only if I emailed one specific or if It was listed on the online form
Agent: It is important to know which agent I’ve queried and when so I don’t repeat them.
Agency: This one is important so I don’t query any agency while an active query is pending
Website: This way I can quick refer to their site if I need to.
What was submitted: Each agent/agency has different requirements. I like to keep track
Q – Sent them a query letter
S – Sent them a Synopsis (will indicate in notes if full chapter synopsis)
Pages/Chapters – how much of the manuscript did they ask for? blank=none
Online form – Used online form not email. no O means it was sent by email
Query Time Limit: Most agents/agencies will give timeline in days,weeks, months. Some don’t and will say no response equals a NO. I give these ones a generic eight week expiry.
Expiry: This is important for me. I use timeanddate.com to determine when the query expired. A preemptive No automatically expires the query.
Expired: I like to make it obvious to myself when a Query has expired so I can move on.
Confirmation received: Some agencies will confirm they’ve received the query. It’s nice to know they got it. (Don’t pester them if you don’t get one unless they specifically say to.)
Response: Yes? No? No response? This is important to keep track of so I don’t break any rules. It also shows which agents didn’t bother to respond if the query expires. I make sure to highlight the entire line in red if I get a no, and in orange if it simply expired.
Notes: Some agencies have very specific rules or requests. THis is a good place to put this information. Also if an agency says No and NOT to contact any other agents. You dont want to be a jerk.
Here is what a snip-it of my spreadsheet looks like for ten agents (No these are not real listings and the real list is well over a hundred)Here is a close up of what that form looks like. I hope you can see it better. If you want a file example contact me by email (in the contact me section of my blog) and I’ll email you this sample in excel format.
I’m sure there are ways to track more efficiently such as using Query tracker, but I’m not a fan of paying for something I can do myself with a bit of effort. I still use query tracker’s free service in conjunction with my spreadsheet. I have over a 120 queries out in the slush land of hopefulness. So keeping track of what’s out there is important. If an agency says only query one agent at a time and I screw up they will reject any and all future queries. Yikes!
My advice about tracking Queries.
DO IT! don’t rely on emails or memory to remember who you’ve queried and not. What ever way you keep track, make sure you do. It’s also better to start the list immediately or if you haven’t, get one done asap.
Other posts that might be more fun than this one was
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