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.