September 25th, 2009


letters from the query wars

# of queries read this week: 238
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: n/a

Still over 300 queries in the queue. I have read all queries dated prior to Sept 1st.

Oh, wise writers, who read blogs and research agents (those humble servants of writers)...

How can those who do not take advantage of information freely given across the internets be reached? I beg of thee, reveal the secret to me so that I may have a larger percentage of queries which contain the information needed to actually assess them. Last week, roughly 30% of queries had attachments (a few were even entirely attachments), did not include the first five pages, barely even mentioned the genre of the book (let alone had a pitch or summary of any kind), etc. This week it seems closer to half. No exaggeration.

And, though, writers following guidelines shall be lifted up in praise, and shall dine upon pomegranates in the oasis.... Still, those others do slow the ebb and flow of the tide, and cause gnashing of teeth and consuming of comfort food. Also, to no avail as their queries cannot be adequately reviewed without the information requested. Yet still they must be answered, and thus the resources of the kindgom are reduced.

Oh, wise writers, it is known far and wide that the query system is an inexact science practiced on the divining of a creative art. Its effectiveness is limited by the unworthy application of guidelines which nevertheless make the attempt to find a match between writer and agent, and so then proceed unto the glories and tribulations of publication.

In this golden age of submissions via the magic of the internets, it has been foretold that many will query, yet few will query wisely and well. Hasten not, after spending your days, your weeks, your months, your years, stolen from your virtuous families and friends, while writing your dream. Pause. Consider. Take the time your story deserves to present it to those who seek it. Or.... query in haste, repent at leisure.