Today I wanted to share a tip I've come across in my internet travels. I can't recall where I read it, but it's stuck with me ever since.
A question for you: How many of you query by email?
I imagine, as for me, that it's the first port of call for many queriers these days.
A follow-up question then: Do you have a separate email account for querying?
And that's my top tip. Set up a separate email account from which to send all your e-queries and correspond with agents/editors. There are quite a few reasons to do this, and I'll list some of these below:
- that way you won't make a mistake and send an embarrassing email to an agent when you meant it to go to your critique partner/friend/significant other. You know, the type of email where you either gush about something an agent said or did (perhaps they requested a partial or a full manuscript and made your dreams come true) or, even worse, you complain about something to do with an agent, and that damn predictive text in the email "To" bar inserts the agent's name instead of the person meant to receive the email. Thankfully, this hasn't happened to me, but I've heard horror stories...;
- there's less chance you'll miss an important email amid the 20, 50, or 100 emails you get a day from friends, relatives, critique partners, and your various blogging activities;
- it's easier to keep stress levels down during the query/submission cycle when you aren't checking your email every two seconds to see if something has come in. I've found it works really well to give myself strict times when I can check my querying email address. Because it's closed all other times, I can push the "waiting tension" further back in my mind.
Hope this tip helps you as it helped me.