Friday, April 17, 2009


For those not in the know, #queryday is going full force here:

I've only been checking sporadically throughout the morning, but I have learned a lot. The most important (and contradictory, I might add) things are:

  • Some author's don't write killer query letters, but they write killer books - this agent reads the submit 5 - 10 pages.
  • If the letter doesn't grab my attention I don't read the submit 5- 10 pages - this agent obviously doesn't read the pages.

My thoughts: my fears have been confirmed. If my query letter doesn't knock the agent's socks off, then they aren't reading my 5 - 10 pages. SIGH!

Yes, I know the school of thought about anybody who can write a novel can write an excellent query letter. I'm just not sure I believe that school of thought. Sometimes, the written novel is excellent, and the query letter is just okay. Should an author be penalized by an agent for an okay query letter? Possibly, but what's the harm at glancing through the first few submitted pages? Yes, time constraints and all that jazz. Still, if an author took the time to follow the submission guidelines and craft the best (maybe not as great as the novel) query letter they could craft, then shouldn't they be given the consideration of the agent at least reading the submitted pages?? Why ask for submitted pages if you're not going to read them??

Yes, I'm whining . . . somewhat. I know agents are deluged with queries and time is of the essence for them. I know they are looking for the best of the best and have devised the best system to find the best of the best. I just think that if guidelines are outlined on an agent's site, and part of the guidelines are to submit 5 - 10 pages, then the pages should not be dismissed because the query letter isn't a shining star of brilliance.

And, yes, this was only one agent's response (personally, I follow the agent's blog, love the agent's sense of humor, and would submit to said agent if she repped my genre). I think querying is hard enough in this day and age without the realization that the submitted pages are not being read. I'm just saying . . .

Now, back to #queryday. I must see what other interesting tidbits (and there have been many) I can glean before the day is done and the time for margaritas arrives.


The above are some helpful query sites out there - the first two are all about writing the query letter, and the last one is regarding query letters that worked. Enjoy and Learn!

UPDATE: One space after a period is the new thang! OMG, how in the frak am I supposed to change a lifetime habit?? Oh, wait, I hear Sister Margarita calling my name. She always makes things better. Okay, it's really not that bad. It's very easy to 'replace' in Word. I did an experiment and, contrary to something on #queryday, two spaces after a period does not change the word count. I'm just saying . . .


Litgirl01 said...

Oh YEAH...that just confirms my initial thought that I should go buy some magherita suff.

I see what you mean about the query letter being SOOO important. I tried that agent for the day thing on Nathan's blog, and I got so overwhelmed I decided not to participate. LOL! Probably due being bogged down with too much stuff at the moment to!

Scott said...

Litgirl01 - I tried the agent for a day also. I read through quite a few, and made notes of the ones where the 'agents' requested the most partials, etc. I didn't comment. I might try this weekend.

#queryday is making me tired. : )

Now, one space after a period versus two spaces. Arrrgghh!!!! It's all a conspiracy. Those margaritas are calling my name.