After getting your query package (query letter, synopsis, beginning pages, etc.) together, it can be impossible to know how well it will do on the agent market. It’s so subjective out there. And after getting a rejection, you usually cannot query that project again to that same agent unless it goes under intense revision.
That fact puts more pressure and importance on query packages being the best they can. It also leads to writers having many questions, including when to revise their query package and how many queries to send out at once.
I have seen a couple of methods to try to tackle that complexity.
Test the market
Some agents are known for having a fast response time. Even during the pandemic. Since most agents don’t respond within months, it may be best to test your query package with these fast responders.
If you don’t get much of a response or get a lot of form rejections, you can then go back to your query package and go over everything again.
It’s good to find holes within your query package now before sending it to too many agents.
Another way to do this is to have three lists for agents. Those three lists are:
- Dream agents, aka your top choices
- Second choices
For each round of queries, pick a few agents from each of those lists and send out about ten queries. That way, you’re not burning all your top choices with your first batches. You also get to test the market a bit with your maybes.
If you receive a lot of form rejections, revise your query package to make sure it’s the best it can be before the next round.
Now, since agents all have different speeds, it’s best to start the next round of queries after most agents have replied. Don’t wait around if one of them takes eight months or more.
Bonus: Leslie Wibberley’s article
This is a great article on how to interpret query rejections. It discusses the types of responses and what they can mean.
I hope those two methods for sending out queries are helpful! If you have any other methods that you like, leave a comment down below.