Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I've been trying to make a dent in the emailed queries this morning while Jon sequesters himself in the back room reading snail mail queries and chapters.

The emailed queries are non-stop and I really do my best to give them all a fair read. The hard truth is that only a few of the queries are unique and well-written enough to merit a request for a partial. Most are simply not for us for oh-so-many-reasons. But a few are almost there and they break my heart. Early on I tried to personalize some of the responses to the "almost theres," but found these gestures generated more responses and questions than I could handle. So now, a no is simply a no.

Some queries are easy to reject. They stop me in my tracks and force me to send our "boiler plate" response. I've talked about this before, but here are:

The Top Five Ways to Make Sure your Emailed Query
is Rejected and Deleted by Us

5. Tell us your book has been published by Author House.
4. In the opening paragraph give us your life story, none of which relates to your writing career.
3. Tell us that you are a fan of all of our clients and their works. (We really don't have that many yet.)
2. Send your query as an attachment.
1. Send your query to us and every other agent in the world and include all our names in the "TO" line.*

*Jon disagrees with this. He says he WILL read the query with lots of agent's names in the TO line. He says the value is in the query itself and he's not as picky as I am about gang submissions. His number 1 is my number 2. He deletes attachments immediately and does not read them. Nor do I.

So, even in our little world, there are many ways to do things. Go figure.

1 comment:

Starkraven madd said...

As a new author I, at first, sent out a few email queries but quickly abandoned that route. I was struck by the notion that perhaps it's a bit tempting to hit reply and paste a form rejection. My suspicions were further bolstered by the fact that one agency rejected my mail in ten minutes. Mass email rejection bot? Who knows? However I’m so pleased to see a real breathing agent blog that she does indeed read those mails. I don’t know if I will ever e-query again, but I just wanted to say thanks for your email query suggestions, they are very enlightening. If I ever attempt the electronic route again I'll keep them in mind.