I learned 4 things after querying 100 agents & the most important thing was the hardest to learn.

After spending a little over a year and half working on my first novel: Mercy Not Sacrifice. I, like any writer who had finished their first novel, wanted to get it out to the world. 


I had thought it that the publishing industry was a simple place. One where a writers voice would shine through. I supposed that if I worked hard enough on contacting the right people than my book could get out in the world.

After querying 100 agents I learned four things with one being the most important and hardest to learn.


     1. Be Organized

Most writers work in a state of organized chaos. Notes spread everywhere on the desk. Notebooks 'strategically' placed throughout the house, car, and workplace. And pens—oh boy, the plethora of writing utensils even in the digital age that we live in.

While this may work well for the writing process; let me be the first to tell you that it doesn't fair so well on the submission side of things.  

Get organized. Get your stuff together. Make a spreadsheet. Keep track of what you are doing.

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 9.31.28 AM.png

     2. Be Persistent

It takes time to gather a names of agents. You can find them through books, online, or a combination of the two. But find them; without an agent it is almost impossible to get your books into the hands of an editor.

Craft a query letter that is 'semi-universal'. Tailor your letter per each submission. As each editor requests something different. Do they ask for the first 10 pages, first chapter, or first 50 a pages. Pay attention to the details!

Try to use the most updated contact information for agents. A few out of my 100 submissions received a return to sender email or the dreaded that agent is no longer with the agency. 

Use good resources! One great website that I used for agent contact information was: http://www.manuscriptwishlist.com 

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 8.21.01 PM.png

A great print resource that I was used was the current 2018 edition of Writers Market.  

Inside are articles by industry insiders. Query letter examples of what to do and what not to do. And, contact information separated by genre for agents and publishers!


     3. Be Aware

Be aware that everyday by working on your manuscript and submitting it that you are exercising the intangibles that every writer needs. 

It's hard work to get home from the day job and pound out multiple submissions before you call it a night. Writing a synopsis can lead to teeth grinding when it seems impossible to narrow down your 'genius' novel to a few short paragraphs or even sentences. 

But, be aware that working on your craft daily you are becoming better. As Elvis Costello reminds us "Everyday we write the book".


     4. Be Writing

Through all the process of submitting that first novel don't forget the most important lesson that I learned: STAY WRITING.

In your head, on the keyboard, or on paper keep the writing going lest your storytelling abilities atrophy. 

It's hard to remember thats why we began our manuscript in the first place. We are writers. We want to be heard. We have something to say that we think can make the world a better place. 

So keep writing!

The four things that I learned after querying 100 agents:

     1. Be Organized

     2. Be Persistent

     3. Be Aware

     4. Be Writing

The most important thing is to continue to work on your next project, because that's what you want to be right? A writer?

Keep writing!