I’m sure all of us have visited websites or been on the phone with customer service when, after the experience (or call) has ended, you are asked for ‘just a moment of your time’ to take a brief survey. I got to thinking about this and how it might work in the writing world; specifically, how it could be used when querying.
For example, let’s say you send your query by email (I guess snail mail could work too) and in addition to your sample chapters you include a request to take a brief survey ‘about your experience.’ It might go something like this:
“In appreciation for considering this query, I would like to offer you a $10 Starbucks gift card. Simply answer the following 3-question survey (or two or one depending on what you want to know). Then provide the three questions and space for a response. This can even be done via Survey Monkey (that is, if folks are not afraid to click the link).
You could ask:
- What do you think would have made your experience better?
- Did the sample chapter begin in the right place? Explain.
- If you actually liked the concept, how were you expecting it to develop?
Note: This question addresses those who have a preconceived idea that your pitch brought to mind, but your chapters did not deliver.
You’d have to be sure to provide open-ended questions in order to avoid the dreaded ‘yes/no’ responses. Of course, you’d also have to figure out a way to send it automagically after you are rejected. LOL. Still working on that part.
So, what do you think? Could we writers get away with this? Probably not, but it would sure help refocus those who consistently receive the ‘loved the concept, didn’t connect with the writing’ response. Or the ‘didn’t like the execution,’ response. Or the more common, ‘it wasn’t for me,’ response.
I know, I know. It’s a numbers game in a lot of cases, and some say it’s timing. But whatever it is (maybe even your writing ability or understanding of your genre), a survey does sound nice. And who doesn’t want a $10 Starbucks card?