I was reading old blog posts from agents and came across an old post by Janet Reid. It has to be the most helpful post on how to keep on querying. I feel all perky and excited now, ready to take 'em on!
Ok, so I haven't actually sent out the query letters yet, but I'm going to...next Wednesday. I chose Wednesday for a strategic reason. After an hour of searching, I finally found theGatekeeper blog again. It basically says that an agent's inbox fills with queries over the weekend and on Monday they have loads to sort through. On Fridays they're too occupied with Friday-glee, that they're more likely to reject. The blog advises middle of the week. There are also lots of helpful advices in this post.
The Gatekeeper's The Middle Way: A new method of timing your queries suggests making a list of most desirable agents, medium ones, and the ones who just wound up on the paper. She also suggests to query first the medium desirable ones and see if you get any feedbacks. If you get only rejections or a few personalized feedbacks, you can work on your query letter before you query the ones who are truly desirable.
I like this approach; it's safe and you learn from it. What would worry me, however, is if some would want to sign me up and I wouldn't have queried the more desirable ones yet (a luxury problem, I suppose). Janet Reid suggest querying all, and not go by such a list. I haven't yet decided which method to choose; it's something I'll have to think about before Wednesday.
Gatekeeper is an excellent site with loads of information on querying. You can pick up on many hints on what not-to-do. This post has a pie chart on why she chose to say "yes" to a query, and another with a "no". I also love this post called Typical Day.
KT Literary made a really fun post where Daphne opens her query letters live and writes why they don't work. Lots of tips there.
I have studied these sites carefully, both for research on the market and agenting, and then for the dreadful querying.
Task for the day: Read a chapter and fix in the document.