QueryTracker Blog

Helping Authors Find Literary Agents

Monday, April 19, 2010

QueryTracker: Who, What and Why?


Well, the QT Blog has been up and running for a while now. The five QueryTracker blog authors have grown a lot, not only as a blog team, but professionally. QueryTracker has grown too. The database now contains more advanced features and includes publishers in addition to agents in the searchable database.

I attend conferences, workshops and writers' groups and am always amazed how many writers are familiar with QueryTracker's main site.

Just in case we have subscribers who don't know how QT came about or don't use the main site, I'm going to repost sections from one of my first articles on this blog.

The what, why and who of QueryTracker.net

The first time I met Patrick McDonald, the creator of QueryTracker, was when he emailed to congratulate me for signing with an agent. Up until that point, QueryTracker had been a tool.

I searched for agents by genre; researched them through the QT links to the agency websites, AgentQuery and Predators & Editors that were on the QT agent profiles; logged my query responses; and finally, clicked on the sunglass-wearing smiley icon indicating I'd received an offer of representation. I dutifully filled out my success story interview and expected to leave QueryTracker.net behind. Wrong!

There is a QueryTracker.net forum. Did you know that? I'm hooked. I no longer need the query tracking features of the main site, but I'm a regular on the forum, which I didn't discover until after I had signed with my agent. ...and then there's this blog. Hmmm. QT feels like family now.

One of the most remarkable things about QueryTracker.net is the person behind the site. I had always thought that QT was a commercial endeavor created to generate income for... someone. Turns out that the someone was an aspiring writer named Patrick McDonald, who had become frustrated with the overwhelming and confusing submission process. He created QT not to make money, but to simplify the query process. Once he came up with a way to keep track of which agents had been queried and their responses, he decided it would be more effective if he made it a "social data gathering site" where lots of writers could input data about agents based on their personal experiences thereby revealing patterns in agent requests, response times and preferences.

The result is brilliant! While using QT's main site, I knew (based on other writers' input) that one agent tended to take eight weeks to respond while another averaged only two days. I could tell which agents rejected by non-response; this kept me from re-querying or becoming angsty when I didn't hear back within a reasonable period of time. I could arrange my selected agents in order of desirability, which dictated my submission schedule. The most important thing was I felt informed while I queried. That goes a long way in a process that is shrouded in mystery and misinformation. Any writer who has had to keep up with queries and responses can appreciate the value of real information.

What? A social data gathering site to help aspiring authors submit to agents intelligently. Why? To simplify and demystify the query process. Who? Writers' advocate extraordinaire, Patrick McDonald.

Thanks, Pat.

Have a great week, everyone!

Mary

11 comments:

Kristi Helvig said...

I love this site and am so grateful to Patrick and all the QT bloggers - thank you!

Michelle McLean said...

Pat is an incredible guy who created an incredible place for writers. In fact, when I first came upon (a mere week or so after it went live) I thought it was too good to be true and forgot about it for a few months. Believe me, once I finally wised up and joined, I was KICKING myself :D Had I stuck around, I could have been one of the first members - and would have saved myself a ton of query tracking heartache :)

Congrats on all much-deserved success to Pat and Blog mistresses.

Carl said...

I agree. QueryTracker is a great site and a service to aspiring authors. I really appreciate what Patrick has done for the community.

Mandy said...

You said it all, Mary! Pat is awesome! Helpful, friendly, and there for the QT users. When I first started out I was less than clueless. I had a question about something an agent asked me to do and I emailed Pat for help. He got right back to me, answered my question and then some. QT is indispensible!!!! I'm not a super-organized person and QT helped me stay on track! Thanks Pat and the QT bloggers for all you do for the writing community! :D

Angela said...

I tried out several other sites and forums before finding Query Tracker, but once I found QT I never looked back. From the comprehensive database that I can use to find agents, to the incredible and friendly forum that has helped me through many query revisions and to find mentors, I came to realize QT is the best site ever!

kimysworld said...

QT has become my life - I dropped all other forums and spend most of my free time here! Sad, but true :) I sure hope Patick makes LOTS OF MONEY now that this site is such a success and so many of us love it. Hey, let's have a Patrick party!!! Where is Patrick, by the way??!

Elana Johnson said...

To Pat!

Annarkie said...

Patrick rocks. I wouldn't be where I am (not agented yet, but confident of getting there) without this site.
The constantly increasing plethora of information and the amazing kindness and support of the community never ceases to blow my mind.
A miracle has been wrought here.

Lydia Kang said...

Thanks Mary for the blog, and thanks Pat for making QT a great home away from home!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I bring QT up on my blog or in conversation every chance I get. I think you guys all ROCK!

Patrick said...

Thank you everyone. You are all so wonderful and I owe all of QT's success to you.