So, I’ve had an account on QueryTracker.net for about 4 years now, and they have two account options: free membership and premium membership for $25 a year. Last year, they did a bit of remodeling. Things were updated and moved around. Templates were changed. Anywho, I had a premium account for a couple of years because I’m crazy and like to stalk the internet and obsess about crap. However, I recently decided to stop being SUCH a nutball, so I went back to the regular membership to calm my happy butt down.
I assumed all of my stuff was where I left it. I even went in earlier this year to make sure my main list had everyone on it. Well, the other weekend, I went in to do some spring cleaning while I was in a good mood, and GUESS WHAT HAPPENED?! Before, I had like, 175 or so agents on my list. Guess how many I had when I checked in. I’ll tell you. 19. I lost over 150 agents because QueryTracker pulled a phantom list out of nowhere from 2013!!
Not kidding. 2013 was the year I wrote my beloved but terrible portal fantasy, got mad, and deleted almost all of my agents by accident (yes, it was an accident), and I had to start over from scratch. The accident part being that I didn’t know that when I deleted the portal fantasy, that all the agents on that list would also be deleted. Live and learn.
On one hand, I was like really annoyed. But on the other hand, a fresh start isn’t so bad. Problem is, there were a lot of agents on my list that have broad tastes, and now in order to get them back, I would have to dig into the email archives and do another pass at AgentQuery for anyone I may have been overlooking on QueryTracker (and AgentQuery isn’t as on top of their updates as QueryTracker, fyi).
Now, this isn’t to say that I’m committing 100% to querying, because I am 125% committed to only shipping out things I think shine brighter than the North Star. But should I have enough confidence in the current project when it’s done, I want to send some queries out. Ergo, a girl needs to be prepared. 🙂
So, it was a chore, rather fun at first (cause a girl likes organizing crap), but then it was tedious. It also took three days to look through the genres I needed to ping, and it was only two genres, there are just SO many fantasy agents that I have to look at every single blasted one to figure out who likes the lighter concept, darker toned paranormal subgenre of fantasy that I write, because paranormal doesn’t get its own tag. #hellolongsentence
I did all this so I could end up with 108 agents on my list and falling. Between the ones at the same agencies and the ones I still need to cut, I’m thinking I’m going to end up with around 60, maybe 70.
On one hand, it’s like I want to query everyone I can (mo’ queries, mo’ chances), but on the other hand, the last thing I want is to end up getting a super shiny offer from an agency only to find out that said agency sells stories to a publisher with a yahoo dot com email address and website that looks like this: greenbeanpress.blogspot.com. Like get a freaking domain name – they are cheap as crap. What kind of professional publisher doesn’t even have their own domain?
That is a legit description of an actual entity that is calling themselves a small press. Like no. I will print my story out and staple it and sell it on the corner of the library before I let someone like that touch my stuff. Seriously, I can draw you a better cover than what I saw on that site. Their stuff looked something a toddler made on the 1991 version of Microsoft Paint.
So, after I compiled my initial list of agents, I had to go through the list again and analyze the actual agencies. And I have found more stuff like that than I ever needed to see in my life. It doesn’t matter how much I think I like the agent or how perfect they may sound if all the books they sell are to a “publisher” who can’t even afford a $10 domain name. Not a ringing endorsement.
So, there’s a new lesson in life for the newbies out there: Do yer research, because there be some legit crap out there. I’ve seen other writers be really thorough like this, but I never thought to do it myself. Again: live and learn. There was an agent on my list that I was so exited about, only to look into their agency and see they only do romance. All kinds of romance, but the key words here is: romance. And this girl is not a romance writer. So, there were a few things like this as well.
In the meantime, I’m taking a break from scaring myself with agents until I have something finished. Zoom, zoom. 😀