Patrick McDonald of QueryTracker

Patrick Instead of simply telling you how wonderful QueryTracker is, I went right to the source. Below is an interview with Patrick McDonald, the creator of QueryTracker. (If you’re querying and don’t know about QT, check it out here. It’s a gold mine!)


Tools for Writers

What can you tell us about the man behind the awesome Query Tracker site?

There’s really not much to say. I’m just a boring guy who spends way too much time in front of a computer. I enjoy reading, writing and programming, and QueryTracker rolls all of that info one nice bundle for me.

Why did you start QueryTracker? What is the QueryTracker story?

Well, like every other writer out there, I learned the hard way that writing the book was the easy part compared to querying. And as I was querying, I couldn’t help thinking there had to be a better way to keep track of all my queries. So I came up with QueryTracker. At first it was just going to be a tool for myself and some other writer friends, but it quickly grew beyond that.

What are the most popular features?

I don’t know if I can pinpoint any that are particularly more popular than any others. But I did find it interesting that some of the features I just kind of threw in as an after-thought became very popular. For instance, the “Quick Links” on an agent’s profile that link to other places around the web where you might find that agent. I was pleasantly surprised when people started to comment on how much they like and use that feature. But in the beginning, it was nothing more than a way to fill an empty spot on the page.
Another one that I never expected to take off was the comments section. I thought people would use it, but not as much as it ended up being used. And that’s good.

What is the benefit to getting a premium membership?

There’s lots of extra features available to premium members. One of the most powerful is probably the “Data Explorer” which lets you see all the query information in the database and sort and filter it however you want. For example, you can see all the recent queries to a particular agent, and then see if any queries sent before or after yours has already been responded to. It’s great, because it can let you know if you’ve been skipped over or not.
Do you have a favorite success story?
All of them, of course. But, in the early days of QueryTracker a small group of authors gathered on the QueryTracker forum and we all became very close friends. So when one of them succeeds it’s especially great.

What advice would you give to querying writers?

Be patient. Publishing is a very slow business.
Authors often mention using (and loving!) Query Tracker in our Query.Sign.Submit. series. Does that kind of positive feedback make its way to you?
I often hear and appreciate the nice things people are saying about QueryTracker. The writing community has been very kind and enthusiastic. I can’t thank them enough. But, and this may sound a bit odd, I’d really like to hear more of the bad things. You see, I’m kind of a perfectionist and if there is anything about QueryTracker that needs fixing I’d really like to know. So, if anyone out there has ever ran into a bug or just think something would work better if done differently, please let me know.

How can users help out QueryTracker?

Keeping track of all the agent’s contact information is a daunting task and so I depend heavily on members informing me of any changes they may find. Simply posting about it in that agent’s comment section will usually get my attention. I’ll then verify the change and update the agent’s profile.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Just to thank you and all the QueryTracker members out there. Without all of you, QueryTracker would be nothing.

Thanks so much, Pat!

Posted May 2014


  1. WOW! it's him! Thank you Patrick for making my querying life a little bit easier. :) xx

  2. I know! The man behind the machine, so to speak. Thank you, Patrick!

  3. Thank you, Karen and Laura. And thank you Deanna.

  4. Oh my god, Patrick from QueryTracker! He's like a celebrity to querying writers. Or maybe like the Wizard of Oz. Great to see the man behind the awesome website. Makes me appreciate it even more. Thanks, Patrick!

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