March 13th, 2009


letters from the query wars

# of queries read this week: 123
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: N/A

This week's casualty -- the author sending a query to my personal email that read "Dear Sir: Attached please find a file of my novel."

Dear Authors:

I was just trying to come up with something to write about this week that didn't sound like the same old list of things not to do in your query*, and while doing that I decided to just read a few more and see if something jumped out at me.... In an odd twist of inspiration, I read an email that wasn't exactly a query. It was a request for advice, and I realized that I had seen several similar emails over the course of the week. These are people writing to say they don't know how publishing works and asking for me to tell them how to get published. Of course, this blog and many other agent blogs, as well as writer blogs and other sites around the internet already offer more advice for free than any person could read in a year if they did nothing else with their time. So, I thought my post today would be about this, and then saw Justine's response to Maureen's rant in which they both explain the usefulness of guidelines, and this dovetailed quite well with my feeling that people need to do their own homework. But of course, I am preaching to the choir probably; the people who read this blog are already doing their homework and researching guidelines and agents and figuring out how the system works. So, this is me appreciating you for doing your own homework and presenting the appearance of patience while you wait for a response to your query.

*And since I seem to be suffering from a lack of inspiration otherwise, I would welcome suggestions for topics of future letters from the query wars. Or comments on which kinds of query wars letters are helpful.