Since I'm now agented, I thought I'd share what the query process was like for me. I'm a planner. I like to know when things are supposed to happen, how long it will take, etc. Ask Mandy. I tell her to give me deadlines all the time. I need structure to make things happen.
So, we'll go month by month.
August 2010: I finished my first draft and sent to the most amazing critique partner I could ever ask for.
September 2010-February 24, 2011: Looked at notes and revised draft one. I'll call this completed version Draft 1.5.
February 24, 2011: Began querying. I made a ranked list of agents I'd like to try. Sent six queries in February.
March 2011: Sent 50 queries. These were from three different categories that I made up, Categories A, B, C, A being my most desired agents, B being cool agents but ones I wasn't 100% sold on, and C being agents who I hoped would probably say yes.
Some responded within minutes--7 minutes, to be exact. It took some longer, following the allotted amount of time on their website. Some, I never heard from. There's been a great kerfuffle about agents not responding to queries on the internet and I may address that at a later point.
I got one offer. Two requests for fulls, including a request from Mandy. One request for partial. I turned down the agent offer--I will have another post on this later, I promise. One full came back a rejection but with ideas for improving. Mandy said she'd be willing to look at a revised version. I thought working on a revision meant a fast turn around--I was wrong. I will have a post on this, too. Revisions received a rejection as well.
April 2011: Sent 16 queries. No offers, no requests.
May 2011: Sent 2 queries. No response. I was giving up hope at this point. I was doubting my intelligence at turning down the agent offer. I was caught in a downward spiral of bad thinking.
June 2011: Sent 2 queries. No response. I went to a novel revision retreat hosted by my local chapter of SCBWI. It was incredible. It was amazing. There are no other words. I learned everything I know about revision from this workshop with Cheryl Klein. I vowed to rewrite over the summer.
July 2011: Sent 2 queries. No response. Rewrite continues.
August 2011: Rewrite continues and finishes. I sent updated full manuscripts to both agents who requested a full in March, as well as to a few others who seemed possibly interested in the spring but had not taken the bait. I sent this revised version to all agents at 3:00am Friday morning, August 18. Tuesday, August 22, on The Day The Toilet Almost Exploded I got The Call from Mandy Hubbard
August 25, 2011: A year to the day after I finished my first draft, I signed with my agent!
So, that's it. My query process by the numbers. Have you guys had better luck?