REM World: My First Query

Wake up, Travelers & Dreamers!

I got another update for you about REM World!

So, if you’ve been following along with me on Twitter or here on my website, you know that January 23rd of this year was THE day. The day I finally sent out my first query for REM World!

I chose to query Naomi Davis of Bookends Literary Agency (who I positively adore) and Cortney Radocaj of Belcastro Agency. Both of them seem like kind, progressive people and this is most of the reason I chose them. I tend to let my heart lead the way in most things and, for better or worse, it’s the way I’ll do business as well.

Naomi is someone I’ve had my eye on since I started writing REM. I truly feel she will be the best fit for me and my stories (not just REM). She’s progressive, neurodivergent, kind, ethical, and communicative. I deeply enjoy all my conversations with her and always walk away feeling more informed and inspired.

However, I also understand that this is a business. A rejection from her is not going to stop me, of course, and it isn’t going to change my opinion of her in the least. Which brings me to a rant…

All writers will save themselves a lot of pain and unnecessary anger if they take this stance. I see too many people on message boards getting snarky or irritated with an agent. “Oh, they still haven’t got back in touch with me. Guess they [negative/disparaging comment].” This doesn’t help anyone. It certainly doesn’t help you, as a writer.

What do you think is going to happen by leaving a comment like that? It isn’t going to make the agent feel great about working with you in the long term. It makes you appear impatient and unprofessional. You aren’t the only query in their inbox (read: the world doesn’t revolve around you). Chill out and be patient like the rest of us. Basically flipping off the agent is going to get you nowhere. All it does is make you look bad.

Writing is a long game, all the way through. It takes time to finish the first draft, time to finish your last revision, time for the editor to go through it, time to apply those edits to your ‘script, time to write the synopsis and query letter…

Why do you think the process should suddenly become instantaneous and lightning-fast once you’ve sent your query? And this isn’t the last time you’re going to have to wait, either. Once you land an agent, now you need to be patient as they find you a publisher. And then you need to be patient when you’re asked to make more revisions.

Writing takes time. All of it takes time. So stop rushing the agent you want to represent you. If someone messaged you every day as you wrote your book, asking if it was done yet, you’d lose your shit. And if they made a comment like, “Oh, it’s still not done? I bet you aren’t even writing a book,” you’d be pissed!

So stop doing this to other people, please.

End rant. I know a lot of writers query ten or twenty agents in one go. I’m hoping I’m not shooting myself in the foot by querying two. I’m a firm believer in “finding my tribe”. I want to work with people who best reflect my views, personality, and values. I know there are definitely a lot more than just two agents that I’d mesh with, but the issue comes down to getting to know who they are before I send the query.

A lot of agents will have a Twitter, but not post anything of substance on it. I see retweets, sure, but nothing directly from the agent. Please, agents! I want to know who you are. Tell me about yourself, show me your personality and passions! Seeing that passion on social media about things that are similar to what I write about is exciting! It gives me confidence to query you, because I feel you’ll be a strong champion of my work. So please show me who you are! ♥

This is actually why I chose to query Cortney Radocaj. Her Twitter feed teems with much the same enthusiasm and passion as Naomi Davis. They are different agents, but they’re dancing to much the same beat when you compare their social media. I love that. I love their inclusivity, their bubbly personalities, and their unabashed love for what they do. I would be thrilled by an offer by either of them and that’s why I queried them.

Getting an offer from an agent I don’t know much about would be exciting, of course. Any offer would be exciting to an extent. But when I get my request for a full or a partial or my offer of rep, I want to be over the moon! I want to know, without a doubt, that I’m in good hands before ever asking a single question on the call. And yeah, okay, maybe that sounds ridiculous to most people.

But I go by my gut for most everything. I’d just about wire Naomi cash if she asked me to—that’s how certain I am that she’s trustworthy. I want to feel that for any offer that comes my way. It won’t be as satisfying to receive an offer and feel wary, as if I need to Google for the next three days like the FBI to make sure I’m in good hands. Does that make sense?

Anyway, Travelers & Dreamers, that’s all I got for you today! I’ve cast my line and I’m waiting to reel in my sparkly champion of an agent! Wish me luck!

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