Five Super Serious Things You Should Know Before Querying

Querying your work is rough. You may not have started yet, but you already know this. You’ve heard the stories—seen the battle scars. But it’s cool, you’re prepared. You can do this! And you can! But just to be extra helpful*, let me provide you with some basic things that I, too, already knew before I started querying, but didn’t KNOW know until I was knee deep in the trenches:
*not really all that helpful

1. If you thought you were neurotic before. . . .

You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. It’s okay. It’s perfectly normal. Find a trusted friend or group of friends that have been, or are in the same boat you’re in now so you can all be neurotic together. It really helps. Trust me.

2. It’s not you . . . and it’s not them.

Publishing is a highly subjective business. You’re going to get a lot of rejections. You just are. (Unless you don’t, in which case please share with us all your secrets and magicks, kthxbyeeee.) Seriously though, keep trying. It only takes one yes.

3. Set up a “feel better” ritual for when those rejections do start rolling in:

But don’t make your “feel better” ritual cookies and bourbon because (see item number two) you’re going to be eating a LOT of cookies and drinking a LOT of bourbon and that’s not healthy.

4. You’re going to get requests sometimes too.

That’s right, you are! You go Glenn Coco! You are awesome! Do a happy dance and sing a song at the top of your lungs and tell your best buds. Send off your requested materials and pat yourself on the back, and then send off some more queries too while you’re at it because obviously you’ve got something good going on here. Wheeee!

5. Holy moly, you wrote a book!

You wrote a book! Remember that. Not everyone has written a book. And if this one doesn’t get you an agent, guess what? You can write another one! Maybe that one will do the trick instead. Keep trying, keep writing, keep sending out your work. Never give up, never surrender!

See? Super serious helpful things. Now get out there and get querying. You’ve got this.


When she’s not writing, revising, or banging her head on the keyboard (it’s all the same, right?), Megan Paasch can be found playing her ukulele (badly), knitting (rarely anymore, unfortunately), or herding two amazing, but rowdy little boys (pretty much constantly) with her husband. A native to the Pacific Northwest, Megan earned her B.A. in History from the University of Washington. (Go Huskies!) Her favorite history subjects were, and still are, Women in History, the Tudors, and the Celts. You can read more about her here.