There are all kinds of ways to approach the submission process. Over the past few years, I’ve probably tried most of them. Flooding the market, as in querying every agent in your genre, is one method. On the other end of the spectrum is the tactic in which you selectively email only a few agents after spending way too much time stalking them on Twitter, Facebook, LInkedIn et. al.

In my experience, both of these methods have proven to be ineffective. I’ve found that flooding the market is not only exhausting, but it’s a great way to burn bridges, especially if you shop a premature manuscript. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty as charged.

Being nitpicky and stalkerish is equally as exhausting, and in the end, it’s a great way to set yourself up for failure. Just think about how much more your rejection will hurt if it comes from an agent whose Twitter feed you follow like your best friend’s love life. I know, I’m assuming that your best friend has a love life. 😛

That’s not to say that these methods don’t work. I’m sure that other writers have succeeded with either of these. Every writer must find the submission method that works best for him/her.

My current method of choice is batching–sending queries in batches of 6-8. I heard about this method from a webinar that I took with an agent, and it immediately made sense to me. If you send out 8 queries and are lucky enough to get 8 rejections, then you know something’s not working. Yes, even a rejection is “lucky,” considering that many agents simply don’t respond to projects they pass on.

Basically, if all you get is rejections from your first batch, then at least you can glean something: Your materials need revision. I know, you’ve already revised. Guess what? It’s time to revise some more. After that, send out another batch. Rinse and repeat until you get a “yes.”

I think this method is a good because it provides some kind of system for pacing myself. It also gives me a clear query goal: 6-8 agents, every 3-4 weeks. I can live with that, so can everyone else who has to live with me.

In case you’re wondering. I sent out my first batch this week. We’ll see how it goes.

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