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Writing & Publishing Resources > Query Process Question for Those in the Know

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message 1: by J (new)

J | 52 comments Hey folks! Sorry I'm not providing a resources, but I hope this is an okay place to put a question.

I had a lit agent request a partial submission based on a query I sent it. Honestly, I never expected to even get this far :). I am a first time author and have submitted a total of three queries (two immediate rejections), so I have no idea what to expect. For those of you that have been through this, how much of a good sign is getting a partial request? How often do such request just kind of dissolve into nothing/no response from the agent? Is it okay to ask the agent for me detail as to why they turned it down (as I'm pretty much expecting them to do)? Or what about the query that caught their eye in the first place? Or are such questions seen as bothersome?


message 2: by Alex (new)

Alex | 118 comments 1. Good sign.
2. Most of the time.
3. You may ask, but likely they won't answer.
4. See 3.
5. Yes.

But even monkeys fall out of trees sometimes.


message 3: by J (new)

J | 52 comments Heh, thanks! :)


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

No, it’s never a good idea to ask an agent why he/she rejected you or what caught their eyes in your query letter.


message 5: by David (new)

David Matteri | 31 comments I agree with Kate. Agents are busy working with lots of other clients and usually cannot spare the time to explain their decision-making process. Even if your writing is solid, there are usually other factors involved, such as timing, trends, and so on. The important thing is to not take rejection personally. You can thank them for their time and consideration, but move on and find representation elsewhere. If you want feedback for your work, then seek out beta readers and join writing circles.


message 6: by J (new)

J | 52 comments Thank you, Kate & David!

I never take it personally, I was actually kind of shocked to know what caught their eye in the query enough to request a partial. I've been very active with beta readers who have been a HUGE help, but the query letter has been extremely difficult for me.

I kind of want to quite while I'm ahead, even if I get a rejection. 1/3 asking to see more feels like a win for me.

Thanks again for the advice, I'll hold me tongue/pen/keyboard :)


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