Writers Stay Organized
This post is fairly straightforward. I’ll be going over how to use the Agent Query Tracking Form I linked in my last post.
I use this very form to keep track of my agent queries and update those queries as I receive responses.
The form I have linked in the previous post and this post is a copy of the original form, so it doesn’t have all the correct settings. I posted that form for people to experiment with to see if they want to use it. If you want to use the actual form, you’ll need to email me, so I can share a copy of the form with you. I have to do it this way to keep the form secure and un-editable by those who don’t have permission.
If you want to use this form to keep track off your queries, then continue reading. Otherwise, this post isn’t for you.
Requesting a Copy of the Form
As I’ll mention again later in this post, if you want a copy of this form, just email me, and I’ll send you your own personal copy of the form.
Once you receive that copy, just make another copy of it, and I’ll have no connection to the form whatsoever. You can even delete the copy I send you: no harm, no foul.
All the information you input into the copy of the form you made will be yours, completely private, unseen by anyone but you (and Google I suppose).
Or, you could just read through this post and consider it a tutorial on what you need in your own agent query tracker.
This page is simple: enter your commonly used email address and choose whether this is a new query or if you’re editing an old query.
Email Address: Note that this form collects your email, so you receive a receipt in your email. You then access the editable submission of this form by clicking on the link received in your email. It’s the easiest, fastest way to edit a submission if you need to update it for any reason included being rejected by an agent.
Editing an old query: I included this option simply as a bookkeeping choice. Choosing “Editing an old query” doesn’t link you to old submission. See “Email Address” above to see how to access old responses. Now, could you edit old responses directly in the spreadsheet? Yes, you could, and that’s your choice; however, I like going through the form to stay organized. In addition, the spreadsheet will automatically highlight fields that have been edited if you change your responses through the Google form.
Now, this is where you’ll need to edit the form to suit your own writing.
The “Novel Queried” question will need to list your own novel manuscripts. Take for example the screenshot of my own copy of this form; I list each of the novel manuscripts I’ll be pitching.
“Submission Method,” “Materials Sent,” and “Date Query Sent” are all simple. Just fill those questions in.
Now, the “Agent’s Projected Response Date” is something you’ll need to find out through research. Every agent I have queried has noted a response date, if any. If an agents says, “Don’t re-query if you haven’t heard a response within the projected response time” then I pop in 1/1/2020. The next question, “Follow-up Date if No Response” lets me know whether I should contact the agents if I haven’t heard from them.
Finally, section 2 wraps up with “Additional Notes.” You can put anything here, but I’ve added some examples of what those things might be within the form itself.
This section really doesn’t need any description.
I’m not even going to post a screenshot of this section of the form.
Through your research, you should have found all this information:
- agency’s name
- agent’s first name
- agent’s last name
- agent’s USPS mailing address
- agent’s email
- agent’s phone number
- agent’s URL
If you weren’t able to find some of the information, just enter “NA.”
This is the final section of the form, and one I hope to edit gleefully in the future.
If you’ve received a response from an agent, you’ll want to note the date you received that response in the first field.
“Query Rejected or Approved” has a number of possibilities. All the “Approved” options are if an agent has responded to your query and requested additional materials because your original query has piqued their interest. For example, based on your query letter, an agent might request the first 10 pages of your manuscript and an synopsis. Note whatever they want in this field.
The “Agent’s Comments (Whether Form or Personalized)” is for exactly that. I’ve saved every response I’ve received from agents thus far. Nearly every time I’ve received feedback as to why they rejected me. This is valuable information which may help you edit your query, your synopsis, or even your manuscript itself.
Wrapping Things Up
And that’s it. You now have a form that’ll help you keep track of your agent queries. That is, if you request a copy from me.
Again, if you want a copy of this form, just email me, and I’ll send you your own personal copy of the form. Once you receive that copy, just make another copy of it, and I’ll have no connection to the form whatsoever. All the information you input into the form will be yours, completely private, unseen by anyone but you (and Google I suppose).
My Next Post
In my next post, I’m going to take a look at the Alphasmart Neo2. This little machine is a great way to stay distraction-free and productive, and it runs off of 3 AA batteries.