Organization in the Publishing Journey

Let’s just say that organization is my drug of choice. In my everyday life, I am constantly decluttering stuff I don’t need, keeping everything clean and organized, and following certain systems and routines I’ve followed since I was young.

I understand most creatives probably aren’t like me. I mean, according to movies, writers are the ones with hundreds of loose papers flying around their office at any given time. Obviously, that’s a stereotype… but still.

As far as I’m concerned, you can write and be super disorganized. Who cares? But when it comes to actually querying agents, some organization is a must.

There are plenty of software options available, but I chose to stick with the good old-fashioned Excel spreadsheet. (Mostly because I didn’t do enough research when I first started querying, which is another story entirely.)

Today, I wanted to give you a little look into my querying organization process for my first book, In the Sky. I’ve pretty much given up on actively querying it now, but this was the system I used!

Essentially, I list the agency, the agent(s) I’ve submitted to, what their response was, and then any specific feedback they gave. Typically, specific feedback is only when the agent requests further materials, as most “no’s” are generic form responses. (No shade towards that at all. It’s just how agents deal with the massive amounts of queries they get!)

I also have a key of sorts as you can see, mostly to designate the nature of the response—whether it’s simply a timing out (meaning it’s one of the agents who say they will only respond if interested) or an agent who requested materials but didn’t end up representing me.

The spreadsheet may look pretty, but it’s definitely flawed. For one, I never entered the last names of the agents themselves (so stupid), and some have switched agencies since I originally queried. Certain things like that are annoying, so I’ll probably use QueryManager for the story I’m finishing up now, Unattainable Reality. It seems like a much easier, more streamlined option in my opinion.

(Don’t worry, I’m still nowhere close to being ready to query UR…) 🙂

Let me know if you have any query organization tips!

What's your take?