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Today I'm honored to have Patrick McDonald, founder and moderator of QueryTracker.net, joining us for an interview. *waves to Patrick*
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Yet the most important service QT provides is the community fellowship. There's such a supportive spirit to be found at the blog, the agent/publisher threads, and the groups/forums. When I first started hanging around the threads, I was touched and impressed by the cheerleading and encouragement taking place. In spite of the fact that these people were all vying for the same thing, no one was competing. They were there to lend a helping hand or offer a word of comfort when someone was down, or share in the celebration when someone got good news.
I'll never forget the people who reached out and helped me, Patrick included. And even though I don't get over there like I used to, I know that there will always be someone to take up the slack. Because writers rock like that. (◕‿-)
One of the best things about QT is it's completely free to join and get access to the agent/publisher info, threads, etc... BUT, a $25/yr premium membership opens a whole new world of features. Click here to check out that list.
Interested? At the end of this interview, I'll let you know how you can win a FREE premium membership gift card. So stay tuned...
In a prior post, I put out a request to my readers: What would you like to ask Patrick Mcdonald, the wizard who so humbly stands behind the curtain to keep things running smooth in QueryTracker Oz? The last several questions in this interview were born of that post, so thank you ladies for your contributions!
And off we go...
AGH: It’s rumored that you dabble in writing yourself. What genres are you drawn to creatively?
Patrick: It's been a long time since I've dabbled in writing, and that's a good word for it. I'd be the first to admit I'm just not very good at it. Now days, when I feel the urge to write coming on, I resist with every ounce of willpower. I've accepted the reality that my poor brain is much better suited for programming than writing. When I write, it always comes out sounding like a computer manual, and we all know how much fun those are to read.
AGH: Are you working on any current projects you can tell us about?
If you mean writing, then no. Besides being terrible at it, QT has kept me too busy to give it much thought. There are some new QT features I've been considering lately, and I hope to have time to get to them real soon. Maybe over the Christmas Holiday when I'll have some time away from my day job.
AGH: How did you being an aspiring author influence the birth/growth of QT?
It certainly helped me to identify the need for something like QT. Way back, when I was querying, I used AgentQuery (which is a great resource, by the way) but I kept thinking it would be really nice if I could mark off agents right there on the site as I went along. I looked around, couldn't find anything that did what I wanted, and since my queries weren't going anywhere, I decided to give it a shot. And, thanks to all of you out there who gave it a try and continue to use, it has been a success.
AGH: Who comes up with all of those great premium membership feature ideas?
I'm always on the look out for new ideas, so if anyone has any thoughts on new features, please let me know.
AGH: Speaking of features, QT has a recent one for premium members where if you mark which agents have your full MS it'll tell what other agents have "similar tastes." Kind of like the “customers who liked this book also bought this one” feature on Amazon. How do you come up w/that information?
It is based on the query results recorded by users. So, if two agents request the same material then they must have similar tastes.
Angela Cook: Some of the comments left on agent profiles are brutally honest and/or emotionally charged. Have you ever been asked by an agent to remove those comments? If so, did you?
I don't recall ever being asked "nicely". There have been a few cases where an agent threatened legal action if I did not remove a comment. In those cases I just removed the agent entirely. Those kinds of people don't deserve to be listed.
Jenny Phresh: Have you ever considered letting authors choose the look of their frowning/smiling status faces from a gallery? I would be prefer my frowning face, for example, to have an insouciant, devil-may-care expression that shows that I Will Rise Again! Right now it's too durned sad and beaten-down looking.
That's actually a pretty good idea. But I don't have the artistic talent needed to draw up a bunch of different icon sets. So, if anyone out there wants to contribute, just let me know.
Mindy McGinnis: How do you keep your agent contact information updated? Do they inform you of changes or do you hunt this information down?
Some agents will inform me of changes, other changes I find myself. But the majority come from users who send me a note about something they found, or post it on the agent's profile. After confirming the change, I update the agent's profile. And I really appreciate all the help I get from users. There's just no way I could keep up with all the agents on my own.
Krista V: How can QueryTracker users get the most out of QueryTracker? And what is QueryTracker's best little-known feature?
There's a lot going on at QT, and it can be a little overwhelming at first. So, I think the best place to start is with the tutorial videos (which can be found at QueryTracker.net/videos.php).
As for best little-known feature, it's hard to think of just one. But, one of the things that I think is really simple, yet highly useful, is the agency cross-reference. When you view an agent's profile page, there is also a list of all the other agents at that agency along with your query status to any of them (if you happened to have already queried them). It helps to know, so you don't query the same agency twice. If you're a premium member you'll find the cross-reference on the right side of the page, where the advertisements would be.
**Five for fun**
1) What’s your favorite breakfast?
Lunch. I like to sleep in.
2) Are you Team Dog or Team Cat?
It depends on how they are cooked.
3) If I were at your house right now, what would I find in your refrigerator?
Absolutely nothing. Just ask my teenage son.
4) If you could morph into any food, what kind would you become and why?
Turkey. It's the holidays and I always wanted to be the guest of honor.
5) What would be the first thing you would do if you woke up to find you were a fish?
Drown. I can't swim.
Eek on the drowning! Hee. And I get what you're saying about your teenage son. I have one of those, too. Hungry little critters.
Thank you, Patrick, for the interview, and for everything you do for us!
Now for the GIVEAWAY: Patrick has offered to donate a premium membership gift card to give away to one of my readers. All you have to do is leave a comment* on this post, from today through Sunday at midnight (central time). I will close the comments then, and will draw the lucky winner's name TBA on Monday.
Thanks for dropping by. Have a fabulous weekend and see you next week!
*Please note: this pertains to legitimate comments ... I reserve the right to use the delete function if there are any naughties out there ... 'nuff said. ;)