Today I welcome Galen Kindley to Terry's Place. We 'met' on the blog circuit, and he's sharing some great advice based on his own experience with us today. (Please note, although Galen is discussion a resource that includes fee-based applications, I neither endorse it nor receive any compensation. Consider me a neutral party here.) Welcome, Galen.
Before I launch into the world of things Query Tracker, I’d like to thank my hostess, Terry, for graciously allowing me to post on her blog. Not everyone has such courage, and she’s to be greatly admired! Thanks, Terry.
So, you’ve written the great American novel. Congratulations. Now what? Oh, yes, you need to get it published. For that, you’re very likely gonna need an agent. This isn’t always true, of course; I’m published, but have no agent. Still, if you want to launch your writing career and get your work before larger publishers, an agent will be key.
Finding an agent, however, isn’t as easy as finding a lawyer or Dentist. Sadly, they pick you. But, before they can pick you, they have to know about you. That’s where your query plays a role--and where a very cool web tool can help.
You should consider, and I wholeheartedly recommend, joining the web site, Query Tracker. Query tracker is a 2008 and 2009 winner of the Writer’s Digest, 101 Best Web Sites for Writers award. Joining is free and opens the door to its regular features. Its premium features cost only $26 per YEAR. In my view, that’s a bargain at twice that price. For the curious, this link opens to the page that compares premium features with the regular or free features.
But, maybe you’re a skeptic. Before you join anything, free or not, you want to know what you’re gonna get. So, very reasonably you ask: “What makes Query Tracker so great?” Good question, thank you for asking. Here are a few things it can do for you…
• Provides key data (contact information, genre, web site) for 1276 agents and 127 Publishers. That’s right, no Googling for agents or buying books that are out of date before printed. That alone is worth $26 bucks.
• Allows you to search for agents by genre and other essential qualities--name, location, agency, etc.
• Allows you to save, sort, organize, and prioritize your specific list of agents. Note, please, you can construct a unique list for each book you’re working on.
• Provides a database of comments about agents from folks who have queried the agent…learn from what they encountered with their query. You can also use this feature to ask other members questions about specific agents.
• Provides a deep database of statistics for you to see exactly what your target agent has requested in terms of manuscripts, when, how long it took him or her to respond, and other interesting items to help determine if this is an agent with whom you might connect.
• Provides a spot for you to record who you queried, when, and a copy of what you wrote.
• Track (as the web site name implies) each query you send and store a copy of that query with the info for that specific agent.
• Record the results of your query.
• Join the forums for advice, counsel, and lots of crying on sympathetic shoulders.
• Post your query for advice and feedback from authors in the query forum.
• And, as they say on the Ginzu Knife commercials, much, much more.
This link opens the Query Tracker list of videos that explain in greater detail how the system works, what you can do with it, and what it can do for you. Query Tracker…at a minimum, it will help you bring order out of a chaotic process and provide a sense of structure to what can be a debilitating experience.
Galen Kindley blogs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at Imagineering Fiction. Finding his book, Betrayal, a home is how he became familiar with Query Tracker.