February 13th, 2009


letters from the query wars

# of queries read this week: 182
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 1
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: fantasy

Dear Authors:

Agent Rachelle and Agent Nathan both mentioned the higher numbers of queries they are receiving of late. I've been noticing the same. At this point last year, I had read about 200 queries less than I've read so far this year. If it keeps up at the same rate, it will mean 2000+ more queries this year than last year. Why do you think so many more people are submitting now?

And bringing you this week's quote from the Official Sidekick: "SAE is a frat. A SASE is an envelope with a stamp on it."

This week I got a query that was only five lines long. No pages. No synopsis. Nathan also mentioned this new trend of brief letters that tell you next to nothing. I get several every week. It's as if these people think the very fact they've written the book is enough to get it read (in a perfect world perhaps that would be true). Maybe they aren't aware of how many authors are out there? I wonder if someone is giving advice about brevity? Or do these people just choose not to follow guidelines....

.....which reminds me of when I was watching the latest episode of "Chopped" and there was a chef on there that was clearly quite good. He had good ideas and imagination and execution, but chose to leave out one of the 4 ingredients and was disqualified. His reason was because when he cooked the ingredient, it didn't come out well enough for him to feel comfortable serving it. In a restaurant situation, that would no doubt have been the right decision. But in the competition, it didn't matter that his dish was better than some of the others. Because he didn't give the judges what they needed to make a decision, he had to go. It's sad because he definitely had talent. Which just goes to show that talent isn't everything. Particularly when it comes up against outside influences. Which explains why getting published can be just as hard, if not moreso, than writing the book in the first place.