letters from the query wars

# of queries read this week: 115
# of partials requested: 0
# of full manuscripts requested: 1
genre of requests: YA (1)

1 previously requested partial got a request for the rest of the manuscript; genre: fantasy


Good things that the winning query did:

* included phone number and snailmail address at the end
(helpful as this was an electronic query)
* followed submission guidelines exactly (no attachments, plain text)
* wrote concise pitch that established character, conflict, and setting (1 page)
* sent really compelling sample pages (first five!)….
* ….in a genre I am known to represent

4 responses to “letters from the query wars

  1. Query
    In a e-mail query does an agent want the first five pages before or after they have been double spaced? This is so confusing.
    –Carrien’s Keeper

    • Re: Query
      I went back and looked at the specific query and it was what I think of as “email formatting” — single-spaced paragraphs with a line between each paragraph.
      So the 2nd paragraph would start here.
      Sorry it’s so confusing. I know it seems like a lot of hoops sometimes but it makes it so much easier to find the right match when you get queries that actually give you what you ask for in a format you can actually read.

      • Re: Query
        Ah man! I didn’t realize that about the 5 pages. How could I have missed that in your guidelines???? If only I had waited a tiny bit longer to query you. Sorry!

  2. I had a similar question for you regarding those first five pages.
    I get what you’re saying regarding how you want the email to look. But the first five pages of a manuscript double-spaced is about half the words of the first five single-spaced. Do you prefer the lower word count version or the higher? It seems to me the first five pages double-spaced affords little time to establish the plot.
    So my original question was going to be how much weight to you put on those first five pages? Are you looking for an immediate insertion into conflict, or merely checking style and ability?

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