QueryTracker.net – How it Helped Me Find my Agent

6 May

by Julie Eshbaugh

~~~

When I began querying agents, I searched around the internet for websites that would help me to not just survive the process, but to actually succeed at it.  Once I found QueryTracker.net, I knew I had found the only resource I needed.  Three-and-a-half months after creating my account, I received two offers of representation.

So if QueryTracker worked so well for me, why is it that I meet so many writers who aren’t using it?  I can only imagine that too many writers simply don’t know about QueryTracker and how it works.  If you are in the process of querying, or are getting ready to start, let me give you a quick introduction to QueryTracker and the features that I feel were the most useful to me in my quest for representation.

What is QueryTracker?

QueryTracker is a website that helps you control all aspects of the querying process.  With QT, you can:

  • Find Literary Agents and Publishers – QT’s extensive database search tools enable you to easily identify the perfect agent or publisher for your work.
  • Organize and Track Your Query Letters – Keep track of every query you send using QT’s built-in tracking system.  Your entire query history, with automatated date-stamps and space for notes, is stored in your account on QT’s website, securely and anonymously.
  • View Statistics about Agents and Publishers – The QT database allows information to be collected and shared.  QT provides access to useful statistical information about literary agents and publishers.

Why is QueryTracker free?

QueryTracker is free because it is their goal to collect as much data as possible about query letter results.  To accomplish that goal, they need as many members as possible to submit their data, and the best way to do that is to make many of the site’s features free.

That said, I highly recommend the Premium Membership. For $25 for an entire year, the extra features you get are well worth it.  And no… I am not getting a kickback from QT for saying this!  I simply believe my success on QT was facilitated primarily by two features on the site.  Both of these features are available only to premium members.

I personally found the following two features to be the most valuable tools available on QT:

  • Genre Reports – These reports display a ranked list of agents and their query history for the selected genre.  Since my manuscript was YA, I would frequently check out a list of agents ranked by the percentage of YA queries from which they requested materials.  The higher the percentage, the higher they ranked on the list.  This made choosing which agents to investigate further much easier!
  • Agents with Similar Tastes – This report becomes helpful once you’ve received your first positive response from an agent.  Simply stated, QT users who received positive query replies from the agent you are researching also received positive replies from the agents on the list.  Like Genre Reports, these lists are also ranked.

By using these two features, I was able to discover agents that I might have spent countless hours identifying through other means.  Before using the Genre Reports and the Agents with Similar Tastes Reports, I had never considered submitting to either of the two agents that offered me representation.  By searching these lists, then following up with further research on the web, I found two agents that loved my work, and ultimately identified the best agent for me.  Using QT, I was able to find an agent I am confident will not only be the best advocate for my current project, but will be the best partner for my on-going writing career.

~~~

Julie Eshbaugh is represented by Natalie Fischer of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.  You can follow her on LiveJournal here and on Twitter here.

Advertisements

20 Responses to “QueryTracker.net – How it Helped Me Find my Agent”

  1. Samantha W May 6, 2010 at 1:34 AM #

    Oooh, thanks for the info. When I reach the querying point, I’ll probably invest the $25. 🙂

    • Julie Eshbaugh May 6, 2010 at 7:11 AM #

      Hi Samantha! I’m glad you felt this was helpful. I worried it would come off like a commercial for QT, but I was compelled to post this because I do think this resource was a key factor in my success at finding representation. 🙂

  2. Sarah J. Maas May 6, 2010 at 2:29 AM #

    Dude, I WISH I had known about QueryTracker when I was gearing up to query! What an amazing resource!

    Fantastic article, Julie! And your picture is so pretty! 😀

  3. Julie Eshbaugh May 6, 2010 at 7:14 AM #

    Thanks Sarah! QT really is an awesome tool, especially for stat addicts like me! It gave me a greater sense of control over the querying process.
    And thanks for the compliment on the pic! 🙂

  4. svonnah May 6, 2010 at 8:14 AM #

    Great article! When I was querying I stayed away from anything that required a membership, but it looks like I should have been a little more trusting. Those two features you talk about are like a dream come true.

    • Julie Eshbaugh May 6, 2010 at 8:23 AM #

      Hey Savannah! I know; I think a lot of people worry that they will just throw their money away with sites that require membership. (Unfortunately, they are quite often right. ): ) A lot of the features on QT are, in fact, free. But those two premium features really helped me!

  5. Kat Zhang May 6, 2010 at 8:35 AM #

    This was really helpful, Julie! I’d never heard about Query tracker before you mentioned it, and I’m having a great time browsing different agents. Before this, I’d used AgentQuery, which is also quite helpful.

    And I’d like to second Sarah–that’s a lovely photo!

    • Julie Eshbaugh May 6, 2010 at 9:04 AM #

      Hi Kat! I definitely don’t think you’re unusual; many people seem to be in the dark when it comes to QueryTracker. I was really looking forward to sharing this info!
      And thanks for the nice comment about the pic. 🙂

  6. Rowenna May 6, 2010 at 8:39 AM #

    Good luck with submissions! I’ve dabbled in querytracker–mostly just to check response timelines to see what “normal” looks like for agents. I try not to get too bogged down in that, though–seems there’s an exception for all “normals!”

    Thanks for posting! I might invest that $25 in the future…great recommendation!

    • Julie Eshbaugh May 6, 2010 at 9:07 AM #

      Hey Rowenna! The response time info is a FANTASTIC tool on QT. I was addicted to those tools. I used to check average response times in the last 30 days, the last six months… Luckily, you seem to have avoided getting bogged down the way I did. I tend to be very obsessive. 😉
      Thanks for the comment!

  7. Sammy May 6, 2010 at 12:46 PM #

    I’m addicted to querytracker. Like, seriously. I’ve been considering switching my pitching tactic, so I’ve been looking at agents who rep romance now, rather than sci fi.

    I love that other people love this site!

  8. Julie Eshbaugh May 6, 2010 at 12:53 PM #

    Hi Sammy! OMGosh the word “ADDICTED” is the only word to describe it!!! When I was querying I used to spend so much time delving into the info on the site. It gave me a sense that I was taking control of a process that is, in so many ways, out of your control. 🙂
    Thanks for the comment!

  9. Angela May 6, 2010 at 6:54 PM #

    Usually, I’m too cheap to consider paying money to sites, but I`ll definitely reconsider when I start querying. (Of course that’s in the far future. Like in 7 years lol)

  10. Julie Eshbaugh May 6, 2010 at 7:03 PM #

    Hi Angela!
    I know; I’m pretty cautious about paying for subscriptions and memberships, as well. I actually started out with the free membership on QT. But once I got started, and discovered what was available with the premium membership, I decided the upgrade was worth it!
    Thanks for the comment 🙂
    Julie

  11. Vanessa May 6, 2010 at 9:08 PM #

    Great article Julie!! The membership sounds very much worth it!

    • Julie Eshbaugh May 6, 2010 at 10:16 PM #

      Hey Vanessa! Thanks for the comment. Yes, the membership was well worth it for me!!! 🙂

  12. Myra May 7, 2010 at 3:22 PM #

    Well, if I ever want to start querying, I’m definitely investing the $25 in this. Querying is a pain, so they say (or maybe that’s just putting it lightly? ;p), so maybe QT might lessen that pain…

    Also, stats? Awesome. I’m not big on the math, but I like stats. I always pull out a calculator to calculate the stats or percentages of this and that (mostly what I think I’ll score of tests/exams, haha, or novels). There’s a comfort in the numbers, I think.

    • Julie Eshbaugh May 7, 2010 at 3:46 PM #

      Hi Myra! “Comfort in the numbers” is the perfect way of stating it. I’ve always felt that looking at stats helped me feel like I understood the big picture better. It provides that sense of having just the tiniest bit of control over the process.
      Thanks for the comment! 🙂

  13. Kate May 8, 2010 at 8:31 PM #

    I’m sold. The day I’m ready to begin querying agents I will totally be using this! Thank you so much for telling us about it.

    • Julie Eshbaugh May 8, 2010 at 8:47 PM #

      Hi Kate!
      It is so sweet of you to thank me! But I like to spread the word about the things that worked for me. Querying is a tough enough process. Tools that can make it easier are so valuable.
      Thanks for the comment! 😉

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: