July 3rd, 2008


letters from the query wars - holiday edition

# of queries read this week: 108
# of partials requested: 1
genre of partial requested: urban fantasy

Dear Authors:

I wasn't really sure what to write today. I fear my thoughts may have already moved on to the holiday weekend (indeed, much of publishing seems to have taken a 4 day weekend), which may possibly be free of query-reading, though I might still end up taking a look at a manuscript or two. But I was thinking earlier (before my thoughts had flown) about how much easier it is to send an electronic query as opposed to a snailmail one -- no visits to the post office (though now one can print stamps from online), no stamps, no SASE, no paper required. But sometimes I wonder if it's made it *too* easy. The number of queries I get that are completely inappropriate for me (e.g. how-to-books, self-help books, etc.) is much higher than it ever used to be when we only had paper submissions to review. Every week I get queries that haven't even been spell-checked. Or are addressed to the wrong person (the one I just read today was emailed to me but the opening of the letter included another agent at another agency, address and all -- oops). Sure, all these things used to happen with snailmail too, but never so frequently, at least in my experience. I don't tend to hold that sort of thing against a person, but I may be more forgiving than some agents on those fronts, so please, slow down -- it really won't take all that long to check the guidelines, proof your query, and make sure all is in order. You never know when even something that small may have an effect. The devil's in the details, as they say.

Happy 4th of July to those of you who celebrate it. I hope you enjoy the company of friends and/or family, and the weather allows for a cook-out or three. To those who aren't celebrating this holiday, i hope you have a good weekend too.