Query.Sign.Submit. with Mindy McGinnis

Mindy McGinnis Author

Mindy is a YA author and her debut novel NOT A DROP TO DRINK is now available now from Harper Collins / Katherine Tegen! She is represented by Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary.


Not a Drop to Drink

Connect with and learn more about Mindy . . .



literary agent and author Now for Mindy’s insight on querying, signing with an agent, and going on submission!


What resources and websites did you use when querying?

I used AgentQuery and QueryTracker extensively during the process for researching agents and their guidelines. AgentQuery and it’s forum site AgentQuery Connect are both free. Query Tracker has a free version, but the paid is very cheap for what it offers.

How did you keep track of your queries?

I used QueryTracker for this. Before I discovered it I simply had an email folder that I would put sent queries in, along with the rejections when they inevitably came. It was a perfectly fine way of doing it, but once the rejections started piling up I’d have to scroll through pages to see who I had already queried, who I was waiting for responses from, etc. QueryTracker offers a much cleaner and more efficient way of doing this.

Had you queried other books before the one that got you your agent?

Yes! I’d been querying various books on and off for almost ten years before I landed Adriann Ranta for my agent. I think officially I’d queried four books previous to NOT A DROP TO DRINK. The one I had officially shelved before moving on to DRINK had been form rejected over 130 times.


Did you sign as a client of a career agent or on a book-by-book basis?

Career! I personally prefer this because I want to know that my agent is pulling for me, not just for my book. She’s invested in my career, and our success is tied together now, not just for a determined amount of time. It’s like the difference between dating and being married.

How editorial is your agent? Is it what you expected?

Adriann definitely wants to make sure that we are sending out the best possible version of my book before putting it in front of an editor. We actually went through a couple of revisions on DRINK, even during the submission process, based on the consistent feedback we were getting from editors who had passed.

At what point do you share new story ideas with your agent?

I ran a few ideas past Adriann during our initial phone call when she offered representation. I felt it was important to show that I had other ideas to prove that I wasn’t a one-trick pony, but also I needed to know on her end that she was interested in what I had to produce beyond the one novel she’d fallen for.


What is a typical first round like once a writer goes on submission?

Your agent sends you a list of the editors and houses that your manuscript is with and then… you both wait. It’s not that much different from querying, just with higher stakes.

Do you see the feedback from editors?

From my conversations with other authors I know that some agents do and some agents don’t share the reactions with the authors. Adriann has always forwarded the editor’s responses to me directly, so that I know exactly what is going on – good or bad. I appreciate that level of candidness. Yes, authors are sensitive people and it can hurt to see the things that killed the manuscript for a particular editor, but then the next one will say how those things were what they loved about it, while different aspects threw them off. So, it’s good to know that subjectivity is playing a major part even that high on the ladder.

How much contact do you have with your agent when you are out on submission?

Quite a bit. Adriann is very good about sending passes or indications of interest along to me right away. This is one of the things I love about working with an agent in a boutique agency. When I email Adriann, I hear back that day. Usually within the hour.

Thank you, Mindy!

See other Query. Sign. Submit. interviews
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Posted January 2014


  1. Congratulations Mindy! Sounds like a long road well traveled. All the best on the Book Launch!

  2. Great post. Added the link for my writing classes. Thanks!

  3. Thanks so much for the info!


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