I JUST SENT OUT MY 99TH QUERY FOR BLACKOUT ODYSSEY!
The only way I can think to celebrate (well, besides beer and ice cream) is to present a
So How Goes Trying To Get Published, Victoria
Q. Hello! I’ll be your hypothetical question-asker for today! I assure you I don’t exist entirely in your head but am instead an amalgam of questions you have been asked by real, live, human beings!
A. But that’s not a question?
Q. …hello, I am a hypothetical question-asker? I’ll be asking questions today, if that’s all right?
A. I guess?
Q. Cool. Let’s get started!
A. HEY THAT IS MY LINE
Q. Why 99? Why not stop at an even 100?
A. OF COURSE I am sending an even 100. I like round numbers so much I can’t even conceive of why you WOULD stop at 99. (Unless you’re a hockey fan, I suppose.) (Huh, I did conceive of a reason.) Lucky query #100 is going to come in September when I send BOO to Pitch Wars. Originally my plan was to keep sending out queries until Pitch Wars anyway but this past Monday I felt particularly inspired/ornery and so I ended up sending out all nine subs in one afternoon.
Q. That sounds like a lot for one afternoon! Is it a lot?
A. It is for me!
Q. Speaking of, doesn’t that seem like a lot of queries, like, in total? Shouldn’t it take less? Are you sure you’re doing this right?
A. Are YOU sure you’re not just a snarky voice in my head?? Look, think of it like sending out resumes. Yes, you might get lucky and snag a job after sending out a handful of cold calls, but if it’s a rough market and you’re a niche hire… maybe it takes more. Everyone’s different. Apples and oranges.
Q. How many novels have you queried again?
A. Blackout Odyssey is the third novel I’ve queried. Creampuffs and Ashes both tapped out at 50 queries. I originally only planned to do 50 queries for Blackout Odyssey too but since Space Crazies was delayed and I am determined to hit 200 submissions for 2019, I pressed BOO into another round of 50.
Q. How do you feel about that?
A. Honestly, it hurts a little bit. I had high hopes for Blackout Odyssey but it’s either not right for the market or the market’s not right for it. I had hoped it had more appeal. But I’m pressing on with Space Crazies so the rejections haven’t beaten me down yet.
Q. How do you feel about that, but with math?
A. About the same. I am definitely seeing more success with BOO than with either Creampuffs or Ashes so at least my querying game is better.
Out of 99 submissions, I have:
23 still pending
7 manuscript requests
35 ghosted rejections (disproportionately small presses) (this number may change as late replies come in – I mark a submission as ‘ghosted’ if I don’t hear back in 12 weeks)
From quite a few discussions with other querying authors, these stats are not at all outliers. I am doing very averagely.
Q. Does knowing you are doing averagely help?
A. Some days.
Q. How are you going to celebrate this milestone?
A. I’m going to have A BEER. Also a slice of pizza. Maybe some ice cream. CARBS. ALL OF THE CARBS.
Q. What are the next steps for Blackout Odyssey?
A. I’m submitting it to Pitch Wars; one of the stipulations is that you can’t be querying the manuscript while it’s under consideration at PW so that’s going to take BOO off my plate for a couple of months. I’ll decide where to go from there then. I’m not giving up on it just yet–I still think it’s a good, fun read.
Q. Do you want me to send you this success story I found about someone who basically won the lottery with their first query?
A. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD NO
PLEASE DON’T DO THIS
WHY DO PEOPLE DO THIS
Q. I’m sorry!! I thought it would help!!!
A. I know you did!! But it doesn’t!! It’s like showing someone who’s tired from job hunting a story about some kid who walked off the street and got hired by Apple the day after graduation. GOOD FOR THEM BUT THEY ARE NOT ME
…okay, maybe it does hurt a little bit that BOO hasn’t been snapped up yet.
Querying is hard. If you know someone who is querying, offer them a hug (or an iced coffee). They need all the morale they can get.
Q. I will do that! Thank you! And, uh, CONGRATS and good luck in Pitch Wars I guess?
A. Thank you, Hypothetical Question-Asker! I hope this helped you understand why querying 100 times is a cause for celebration or at least a beer!