Tuesday, March 17, 2009

When is a Good Time to Query Your Novel?

With all the shakeups going on in the publishing world these days, a lot of writers are unsure about whether it's a good time to query. Some are holding off, feeling that they have no chance as a new writer. Others are querying in the hopes of selling something to help make ends meet. Agent blogs all over the web are commenting about the drastic increase in queries.

Kristin Nelson talks about it here.

Bookends talks about it here.

So, if you're sitting there with a polished manuscript in hand, should you query?


Business is still going on, and from everything I've read, agents and editors are still buying and selling books. My own agent, Kristin Nelson, recently posted about her experiences here. She's selling books, and for a debut author to boot.

I've even read that this is a great time to be a debut author, because it's a lot more cost effective to pay a lower advance on a debut author that could be big, than to pay a higher advance for a mid-list author whose numbers are borderline. (Though scary if you happen to be a mid-list author with borderline sales).

If you're waffling over querying, take a deep breath and treat it the same as if the economy was booming.

  • If your novel ready?
  • Is it the best it can be?
  • Is your query letter polished and sharp?
  • Have you done your research and know what agents might be interested in your work?

If the answer is yes to all these, then query away. A great book will sell, same as any other day.


  1. Thanks for the encouraging post! I am almost done with my WiP, and while I won't hold off querying it when it's edited and polished, I'm certainly not in any big rush to finish. Hopefully things will be a little brighter when I'm ready to go. :)

  2. Great blog, by the way! I've been reading through your older posts. Very interesting and informative.

  3. Thanks! And best of luck on your queries.