Over at Maybe Genius Steph Sinkhorn posted recently about how she knew her manuscript was ready to begin querying. I think it’s something a lot of writers struggle with, because you don’t want to be querying a crappy manuscript; it’s a waste of the agents’ time, and yours, and also blows your chances with the agents you query ’cause you can only query them once with any given manuscript.
I’ve already queried one (Magestone) and hope to start querying another (Secrets) in the near future. For me, my cue has been twofold. Partly it’s when I start getting tired of revisions and just want to move on to the next manuscript – the current one will either be queried or stuck in a drawer, but either way I’m done with it. But the main cue is when the feedback I’m getting back from my beta readers/CPs is basically all smaller details and nitpicky stuff. I begin having doubts that my CPs are giving me honest critiques because there’s gotta be more wrong with it than that. But once three or four people have all given me roughly the same sort of feedback – and I realize it’s less likely that four people are blind than that there really aren’t major issues with the story – that’s when I know my manuscript is ready for querying.
I’m there now, with Secrets. I’ve got some small details I need to fix up, or add in, but I should be able to address everything in one more pass, I hope. I’m settling in to work on that this week, with the goal of being done this pass by the end of the weekend. And then, barring any big surprises, I’ll probably start sending out a first round of queries sometime next week.
Which is good! Because I’ve got a SNI that’s been waiting (sort of) patiently in the wings since April, and I really want to start working on it.