Keeping Track

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 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 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)query-listHere 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

Building chemistry

Inviting innuendo

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16 thoughts on “Keeping Track

  1. I use index cards, but they mostly have the same information on them. Alphabetized by agency name, with the agents in order of preference. I move them from the “possible” stack to rejections as soon as I send them, and then add dates and information as the process goes on. Then, when I get a rejection, I mark that and get the next card from that agency. (assuming they let you query other people at the same agency, after one of them has rejected you.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Rejected | I wrote a book. Now what?

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  4. Pingback: The Aftermath Of Rejection | I wrote a book. Now what?

  5. Here’s something that might help you with the rejections. I worked in sales, in that job there is a lot of rejection. We had a saying, “ONE MORE NO, BRINGS US CLOSER TO A YES!” So, as I start to receive my own rejections, I have that saying in the back of my mind. Victory / success is close at hand! Continue to stay positive! By the way, this was a GREAT post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Line By Line By Line | I wrote a book. Now what?

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