Cynthia’s Querying Rules

Hi! I apologize for not posting sooner. I worked hard on Mystic Waters, which I sent out two days ago to a publishing house, then I had duty last night, so here we are! I find myself stalking my email, constantly refreshing the tab and checking spam to make sure I don’t miss anything. In order to keep my insanity in check (there are still four agents I’ve queried that I haven’t heard from), I’ve decided to post my own personal rules to avoid psychotic behavior during such a stressful situation.

1. Do not look at your MS once you’ve sent it. Now, usually I save this rule for when it’s being edited/when it’s out with beta readers but I find that it helps to leave it alone once it has been sent. Once you find the flaws in your MS after you’ve sent it out, you start the downward spiral into a deep depression. Because your words are your work and you’ve just realized just how not perfect they are. Leave it alone, wait to hear back and, if they have notes, go over it again. I’ve only just written my first book and am working on my second so feel free to remember that I have no freaking clue about writing. I am no authority. I’m just a person who wrote a book.

2. Work on something else to keep your mind off of the one f*&#ing email you’re obsessing over. This is where I’m lucky. I’m a soldier who is deployed. I have plenty of distractions. Usually, this works against me. But in this instance, I’m very happy for my workload.

3. Work on another book. My advice will be to either write the second book or a whole other unrelated book. While we all hope none of our writing is shit, some stories don’t make it. So work on something else. A sequel will show just how serious you are. Also, if you’re planning a series, your readers will want your book as soon as possible. Help ’em out!

4. Do not stalk agents via social media. We all know agents are people too. Don’t stalk their Twitter account and get wrapped up in thinking their latest installment of #tenqueries included your MS. This is just another way for you to fall into a pitiful state and you’ll only be able to blame yourself.

5. Don’t take rejection so personally. This one is tough. Because naturally we’re defensive of our work. But when an agent rejects your book, it’s usually one of two things: either your book isn’t ready yet (needs more work/you need to work on your writing), or they personally aren’t interested enough. Most agents don’t give us the feedback that we need to understand which of the two it is so, when choosing beta readers, make sure they’re as honest as possible.

6. DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! When you decide to query an agent, please make sure they rep your genre. Don’t waste your time and theirs. Also, check out interviews by them, see what makes them tick. And, if the agent is a woman, I would definitely refer to her as Ms.

7. Never lose your confidence. You’re going to want to be offended or annoyed…hell, even sad. Don’t bother. Straighten yourself up and keep moving. Each moment is another someone wasn’t blessed with. While I understand the need to release emotion, this isn’t a time for it. If you want it badly enough, your emotions come second. You come second. Get used to it. Buck up and keep on keepin’ on.

Now playing Digital Daggers’ Still Here. I love this song because it reminds me of Liza and Edric in the sequel. Chasing the Tide is at 25,000 words!


My Facebook post after submitting Mystic Waters. My profile link can be found on the About the Author page.

All my love,

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