Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Most Writers Screw up by not Following up

Two writers yesterday brought up following up to queries. One hates marketing herself and feels lucky just to have gotten her query out. The other wanted to know how much is too much and wondered when she should call it quits and move on to another market.
There's no hard and fast rules in writing, this I learned early and like other writers, I developed my own follow up.
I've talked to writers who think mine goes on too long. But again, these are just general rules:
*If the market is a dream market, something I really, really want to break into and the query is not very time sensitive, I wait 2 weeks after sending the query and forward the original email with the query in the body of the letter and a note explaining that I'm following up the query. If I still don't hear anything, I will usually place a call to the editor at 3 weeks. If this doesn't yield results (I usually get voice mail), I forward the 2 week follow up to the editor with a note saying I'm going to start shopping the query elsewhere if I don't hear back in 2 or 3 days. Keep in mind that I hardly ever get past the 2 week follow up without an answer and rarely go beyond 3 weeks.
*If the query isn't going to a dream market, I move on after the 2 week follow up, letting them know then I'm going to start shopping it someplace else.
*If the query is time sensitive (particularly to newspapers) I follow up with an email in 2-3 days and a call by 5 days.

And whatever you do, if you receive a rejection, thank the editor and try to get another quality query out to them soon. And make sure to get the rejected query out to the next market on your list immediately.


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