I haven't really given many query updates. My journey is so similar to other writers that I assume details are just redundant. But before I began querying I loved reading query-type info, so here you go.
The most interesting thing I have found is that the agents I felt were PERFECT for my story in every way gave me a form rejection. The agents I decided to test out just-t0-see requested the full. Isn't that crazy. Two agents that have my full rarely request YA (even though they both have sold YA). I am a premium member over at QueryTracker. I think anyone querying should pay that $25 bucks because it is soooo worth it. I am able to see the raw data of all queriers to any agent. The actual querier's name is hidden, but the stats are there. This has been the absolute best info I have found.
So my advice:
- Query very, very, very widely. I no longer believe in the "super/dream agent" thing. My "super agent" will be the one that loves my work enough to take me on.
- Query agents that represent your subject matter, not only your genre. This landed me a full request.
- Use QT religously. I'm serious, I am on that site so often that Patrick probably thinks I'm obsessed. (Secretly, I am.) :)
- Rejections sting. Two in a row will make you feel like giving up. Make sure you have queries out at all times so the rejections become "oh well" instead of "I suck."
Now my stats so far:
- Requests: 5
- Rejections: 23 (of those 5 were semi-personal)
- Request rate: 21.7%
I must say that my subject matter is difficult. You may have MUCH higher results. I hope you do!