Tracking Queries

Everybody needs a handy tool to get stuff done.  Doesn’t really matter what you’re doing…there’s something out there that’s just handy for doing it, and once you find it, you wonder how you ever did whatever-it-is-you’re-doing without it.  You know you have an example.

Well, it’s a basic principle of the publishing world that you need an agent if you write a book and want that book to be published by a big publishing house that will do all your heavy lifting to get that book out in the world and reel in a bazillion dollars for you.  And how do you get said agent to love you and want to be your agent?  You send a query that will make her drool for the opportunity.

So, what are the odds that the first query you send out will nail that agent for you?  Skimpy.  Yes, it happens like a bolt out of the blue for a lot of writers, but they happen to be a teensy-weensy percentage.  Sorry about that.  Thank goodness for word processing programs, email, and web-based query manager programs…you can crank out a lot of them without nearly the effort that was needed a decade ago.

Enter Query Tracker.  I was guided to this program a couple of years ago by a writers’ forum I had joined and fumbled around with for some time.  I’m here to save you a little fumble time.  The site is at and is quite the handy gadget.

Query Tracker won’t write your query for you, though it will help you find examples of successful queries to emulate, if you’d like.  Where it had the most benefit for me was in finding agents who were in the market for what I was writing.  You can filter your search for agents by the genres they’re looking for, by name, by agency they work for, or by whether they’re currently open to queries.  The listings will give their email addresses, mailing addresses, preferences for how to submit the queries, website addresses, and even success stories from writers who managed to land them as agents.

A great benefit of this website is that it will maintain a database that tracks all the queries you’ve sent out and to whom, when you sent them, and what the status of your query is.  It will keep track of whether an agent has asked you for a full or partial manuscript.  It will also show you feedback from other authors on each agent, so you can get an idea of what kind of response time to expect, whether there are problems with communication or contract issues, and whether agents provide feedback on your submission.  And even if they’re nice.

And best of all…it’s free.  Yes, you can get a premium version with extra features, and it may very well behoove you to do so.  But you can just open an account and play with it and see what it will do for you, absolutely free, and take your time making up your mind about whether premium is what you want.  But the free version will do a LOT.

Oh, by the way…you still have to have a really good manuscript and an awesome query to land the agent.  That’s extra.  Sorry about that.

Check it out…it might do you a lot of good.  Couldn’t hurt!


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