The One That Almost Killed Me: From Research to Querying, One #MSWL at a Time

by KK Hendin, co-founder of #MSWL + #MSWL board member

It took nine months to finish the first draft of the book I lovingly call The One That Almost Killed Me.KKRoundedCorners

Three months and counting of edits.

Which means it’s time to start the process of querying.

I have eight stories out in the world for your purchasing pleasure. Six novels self-published, one novella self-published, and one novella as part of a Harper anthology.

Yet I have never queried, which was a very conscious decision that I made before publishing my first book. But here we are, a whole bunch of years later, and due to all sorts of things, like the genre of said current manuscript, the world of publishing, and other fun and exciting life choices, I now have a book I want to query.

Give me a minute or two to freak out, please.

Except for what do I even have to freak out about? As the co-creator of the #MSWL, which is almost three years old (!!), I have more information than ever about the querying process, about the day to day life of agents and editors, and about the process of how books are published from start to finish.

Hell, I’m practically an agent myself.

HA I kid I kid I kiiiiiiid. And, as long as we’re on the subject, please stop querying me, random folks. I don’t even work in publishing. (*GASP*)

You’d think that with three years worth of agent knowledge and book knowledge and all sorts of wonderful things, I’d have nothing to worry about. Because, really, I should be objective by now, shouldn’t I? I’ve spent hours and hours and HOURS reading through what agents are looking for in their inboxes. I’ve met agents and editors. I’ve chatted with said agents and editors, about things bookish and non-bookish. Hell, as far as I know, I haven’t terrified that many of the agents and editors I have met.

Cool as a cucumber. Totes objective. Not worrying about a thing because every little thing is gonna be alright. Right?

Yeaaaah, who are we kidding. That’s not how this works.

I’m totally freaking out.

Using the MSWL website (and what a thing of beauty it is), as well as Publisher’s Marketplace, Writer Beware, some more websites that I don’t remember now but will remember as soon as I press publish on this blog post, excel spreadsheets, some serious social media investigating, color coded notes and way too much caffeine, I’ll be diving into the Olympic sized swimming pool of querying.

And please God, I will not be diving headfirst into the shallow water and breaking my neck.

I’ve spent the last three years trying my hardest to help agents and editors find manuscripts they love in their inboxes, and trying to make the querying process less painful and more effective for everyone involved.

Which means now I’m going to take the training wheels off the tricycle and wobble out on my own, hoping that the information I’ve learned will help make my own querying process less painful and more effective. I’m going to be blogging about my process querying here- from start to finish, however long it will take. I’ll try to be as transparent as possible, though I will be blurring out names and other identifying information to protect the innocent.

I’m not saying that my version of querying will be the smartest way to do so, but I hope it helps y’all.

If you have any questions, or anything you’d like me to cover in a future blog post, leave a comment here, or let me know on Twitter.

Onward and upward and all those other motivational things!

xo, KK


KK Hendin writes books where people flirt awkwardly, make out, dish out a whole lot of sass and ridiculousness, and live happily ever after. She’s the author of many books, including the TWELVE BEATS IN A BAR series.
She also writes books as K. Hendin, where people aren’t as nice and Happily Ever After isn’t a guarantee.
KK is currently writing way too many books, and is still waiting for the subway to run on a regular schedule. When she’s not playing book Tetris in an attempt to fit everything onto the bookshelves in her tiny NYC apartment, she’s probably wandering her neighborhood with her camera or drinking yet another cup of coffee.

Find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest, where she probably is instead of writing.

2 thoughts on “The One That Almost Killed Me: From Research to Querying, One #MSWL at a Time”

  1. KK,
    Some of this path, this finding a publisher/agent path, is beautiful, with rainbow-draped waterfalls sparkling in the distance. Some of it is hell; think suddenly-appearing chasms lined with sharp stones. (On second thought, don’t think that. It’s too depressing).
    All of it is uphill. Welcome fellow sojourner and good luck. And thanks for the website!

  2. I haven’t seen any rainbow-draped waterfalls, but I have seen plenty of hell. No, wait, on second thought I have seen 1 rainbow-draped waterfall, and its name is MWL. If I could have only one website on a desert-island…

    Some might think that you will probably garner attention for your novel simply because you co-created this site, and I agree. Some will think this unfair, and I don’t agree. You did the hard work of creating and sharing. And your hard work *has* made you more prepared and knowledgeable. You’ve earned it.

    It’s still a hell-ish, uphill climb though, if my experience is anything to go by.

    Best of luck! I look forward to reading about your success.

Comments are closed.