January 9th, 2004


Query letter fun...

Sentences not to begin with:

"I am not an author and have no skill to become one."

And - no - I'm not making this one up. This was really in the last batch that arrived from the NY office. (I work mostly from home right now and they ship them up once a week en masse. Of course, we missed a week during the holidays, so the last box, which arrived Wednesday, weighed in at 25 pounds. Yep, 25 *pounds* of mail - quite intimidating, though not quite all of it was queries.)

Addendum: It occurs to me that it might be interesting (at least to me) to track how many queries I get each week. I've never really done it in exact terms. Just sort of generally. So, the 25 pound box - first box of the year - had 65 query packages in it, 40 of which were the traditional letter with SASE; 25 of which were those people who either have been unable to secure guidelines or unwilling to follow them and include unsolicited sample chapters or whole manuscripts. I requested one partial out of the batch.
  • Current Mood
    working working


I'm in receipt of some lovely, lovely cards. I'm pretty sure those people aren't on LJ or watching my particular corner of it. But this just made me feel good, so I wanted to post about it.

Literary agents frequently feel, I think -- or at least I do -- like the most underappreciated faction in publishing. There are awards for authors. There are awards for editors. For bookstore salespeople. For librarians. As far as I can tell, there isn't a single way to recognize the outstanding service of an agent to the industry. As I recently heard someone say, we're the party both sides yell at. So, it's nice when I get some positive feedback (and I admit I have a few clients who make me feel very loved - heh).

More to the point.... One of the things agents and editors do. Without recompense. Without recognition. Indeed, generally without any gratification at all -- is to judge writing contests. I've done several this year. Most times I don't get so much as a notice concerning the results of said contest. I have to look them up online or in a magazine like everyone else. But every once in a while I get nice cards like these that remind me what I do such things and what I get back from it.

Thank you to these people for taking the time out of their own busy lives and pursuit of writing to let me know this.

Quote the First: "Thank you very much for reviewing my manuscript pages for....[such and such a contest for unpublished writers]....Thank you for supporting unpublished writers."

Quote the Second: "Thank you so much for your comments on my....entry...I know how busy you must be and really appreciate the time you took with my entry and the helpful suggestions for both the manuscript and my career."
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    pleased pleased