Query Letter Confusion

General advice dictates sending one query letter at a time and waiting for a response before sending another one. Response times vary - I've had 1 week waits and I've had 6 month waits.

Unsure what to do about the following.

January 2009 - I sent a query (with SASE) for book#1 to Editor

June 2009 - I hadn't received a response. Got a chance to talk to the Editor of that line, and she said to resend query for book#1 if I hadn't heard in 4 months.

June 2009 - Since it had been six months, I resent my query for book#1 (with SASE)

June 2009 - won contest and was invited to send query for book#2.

July 2009 - mailed query for book#2 (with SASE).

October 2009 - received form letter rejection not mentioning the title of the book (Dear Writer...).

Which book was rejected? Book#1? Book#2? Both?

As a writer, I try to be respectful of editors/agents time and not bother them with redundant queries, but in this case, I don't know how to proceed. I feel as though I can't send any *new* work since I still have an unresponded to query out there (unless the form rejection was for both).

How long should I wait before I chalk it up to a loss and send something new?


  1. I'd say you're safe to query with another project. That's too bad the wait is so long. But I can see why you'd only query one at a time when you're looking at sending to the same publisher.

    I'm feeling lucky that with agents I feel confident in query multiple agencies at once. I try to have at least 15 agent queries out at any given time.

  2. For agents, it's okay to sent to many at once (and generally expected), but when going directly to the publisher, it's an unwritten rule to send one at a time. I almost didn't send my contest request right away because I was worried about breaking the rule, but I also didn't want the Editor to think I wasn't taking her request seriously.

    rock - me - hard place ?


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