One of the things I like about e-queries is the immediate gratification of hitting the send button. As well, though I shouldn’t, I like the cleanness of rejections via email. Because you know they’re probably not responding (since you’ve read the submission guidelines and know, for the most part, that an agency will only contact you via email or phone if they’re interested), you can set up a chart with agent names, dates their queries have been sent out, and include a column in which you note the expected date of return response (ie., some agencies say 4-6 weeks, some, 6-8 weeks, etc.). When that date arrives with no contact, you can simply gray out the agent. Simple. Neat. Somewhat like working in a vacuum. Sterile. Non-emotional.
When an agent (or agency) does favor me with a response, even as a rejection, I think
more fondly of them as I gray out their entry in my chart. Their gray will perhaps be more a warm taupe than a suffocating charcoal. Well, maybe not suffocating. After all, I’m already in a vacuum.
And because e-queries are digital, think of the trees I’m saving! Why, surely, one centenary-sycamore’s worth already.
But whether e- or snail- query, the thing that remains difficult for me is confining myself to a simple, single story-line overview. Not mentioning Margarida de Beaumont, William’s mother and Elisa’s mentor, or Justin Beaufort, archdeacon of Durham, is trying. After all, they’re integral parts of the story. Not alluding to the undercurrent of religion, the unrequited love triangle, or even to the nature of love and commitment in more than its simplest forms, makes me chew my nails in desperation.
But all of that isn’t really allowed in a query. Too long. Too dense. Muddies the storyline, I suppose. I guess you have to buy the book to read all about it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to query some more….