DOCUMENTING FAILURE

Updated: Jun 15

One of the primary goals of this blog is to help writers find unique ways to be their "best" selves. Naturally this means I'll write a lot about best practices and tips and tricks of the trade I discover along the way. But, I want to be clear: I am not a traditionally published author. I don't have an agent, my self-published novella has sold about 10 copies over the last year, and I have only made about $100 from my writing career so far. All that's to say that this blog is as much about discovering together as it is about reporting the best ways to do things. This means I'm likely to fail...a lot. So, I figure I should document my failures as well. That way you won't just know what to do, but also what not to do.


Let's start with querying. As of right now, I have one self-published horror novella called The Sisters. I feel pretty good about it, so I'm in the process of querying agents to see if there might be some poor soul who wants to represent my story. As an ulterior motive, I'm also trying to get better at the querying process since I have two full length novels that are close to being query ready soon.


Here's the query letter I've been sending out:


{{ contact.firstname }},

I'm writing you because on your website you wrote that you were interested in reading horror stories, and I think my literary horror novella The Sisters (16.5k words) will be right up your alley.


ABOUT THE SISTERS

In the top floors of an abandoned hotel, a group of teenage girls rally around the comfort and protection of a mysterious supernatural force called the Sisters. When one of the girls, Wendy, starts having strange visions, she begins to question whether the Sisters are truly the protectors they claim, or something much more sinister. The debut horror novella from Tres Crow, The Sisters is a gripping tale of trauma, compassion, and the dreams that bind us.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tres Crow is a seasoned commercial and fiction writer. Having worked for nearly a decade in marketing, he's ghost written countless blogs, eBooks, and white papers for a growing client list. His short fiction has been published in decomP, Emprise Review, and The Foundling Review, and his story "The Devil's Courtyard" was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and featured in decomP's Best of the First 10 Years compilation.


When he's not writing, he spends most of his time working on the indie writing newsletter he founded, My Book Sucks, and growing his brand and web design agency, DogEatCrow. He's very active on Twitter, with over 3k followers, and is committed to his writing career, able to travel for promotions, and experienced with digital marketing and advertising.


Thank you so much for your time, and thank you for the opportunity to tell you about my book,


Tres Crow

Twitter: @mybooksucks

Twitter: @dogeatcrow


I have absolutely no idea if this is a good query letter or not, but it's the one I'm rolling with. My plan is to query 100 agents and then see what the reactions were and adjust after that. I figure 100 queries is more than enough data to get an idea if things are working or not.


I'll be updating this post every week with the new numbers for how many queries I have outstanding, how many times I've been rejected, and if any of the agents offered helpful criticism.


Here are the numbers so far:


12 agents queried

7 rejections


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