QueryTracker is not just another list of agents. In fact, our agent list is secondary to the real purpose and power of QueryTracker.
QueryTracker.net is a model for what I like to call "Social Data Gathering." Which means each QT user contributes data about their query and agent experiences. Alone, this data
does not reveal much, but when combined with the data from our ever-growing membership, we can see trends and identify important aspects of an individual agent's actions.
When a user queries an agent, they record the following data about that query:
With this data, QueryTracker.net can reveal, on an agent-by-agent basis:
The most important thing that QueryTracker is NOT, is a query blasting service. A query blasting service is a company or individual who will send out query letters for you (usually for a price). Typically, these queries are not targeted in any way, but instead are sent to just about any and all agents under the sun.
Most agents, if they realize the query originated from one of these blasting services (and they can usually tell) will ignore the query.
QueryTracker does not want to be confused with one of these blasting services. We do NOT send your query for you. You must send it yourself using a traditional method. Anything else would just hurt your chances of being noticed.
As a struggling author, I knew there would be plenty of obstacles to overcome before I could achieve the dream of publication. But I quickly discovered the hardest part was not writing a book. The hardest part is to find a literary agent to represent your book.
Sure, there are websites that try to help. There are those which offer lists of literary agents, but finding the agent's name was just the beginning. Of course I had to write the query letter, but a major problem turned out to be how to keep track of all those query letters. Who did I already query? Which literary agents looked promising, and which were just not suited for my work.
I was faced with the same problems every time I sent out a new batch of query letters. Sure I kept a list of which agents I already queried, but, as that list grew, it became harder and harder to keep track. I found myself reading profiles for literary agents I had already determined were not suitable, or spending time on an agent just to realize that I had already queried her once before.
I thought how nice it would be if I could just check a box beside the agent's name and forever mark her as queried. I could even go back after receiving that all-too-common rejection and, by checking another box, record that, too.
And then the real power of this website hit me. With all this information, and with enough users on the site and contributing, we could take a lot of the guess work out of querying. Could the information gathered reveal patterns, or help identify more likely agents for different genres? I was sure of it. Now, I felt I was on to something. I hadn’t been this excited since the first time I wrote, “The End.”
So, I took this wishlist and I created QueryTracker.net, and now, although publication still eludes me, at least the query process has become much more organized, better targeted, and therefore faster and easier.
For more information, take a look at the some of our help videos.
QueryTracker is free because it needs to be free.
Besides tracking the status of your query letter, QueryTracker also collects data about each query and provides statistics on a per agent basis. For these statistics to be as valuable as possible there must be a lot of data, which requires a lot of users, and free means more users.
QueryTracker is also free because there are countless scammers and crooks out there trying to rip off writers, and I did not want for a second to be confused with one of them. The best way to do that was to offer QueryTracker for free and put to rest permanently the question of money.
Of course, maintaining a website like QueryTracker is not free for me, that’s why I had to place advertisements on the site and why I began solicitating for donations (which has evolved into the Premium Subscription model now in use.)
Spread the word (more users = more data.)
Some people may feel that this goes against my previous statement that QueryTracker should be free. The bulk of it is free, and a user can get a lot of value out of the free portion.
In the early days of QueryTracker, I asked users to donate to the QT fund. Some did, and some did more than once. But it didn't seem fair that those who donated were receiving the exact same services as those who did not donate. I wanted some way to thank and reward those users who were kind enough to donate, and the only thing I could offer was more features.
Thus the Premium Subscription was born. Instead of taking donations, I set a small annual subscription of $25 per year. Any user who wishes to help QueryTracker can subscribe. In return for their generosity, they are granted access to extra features not available to regular members.
Thank you for your help.