letters from the query wars 6/18/2010

# of queries read this week: 202
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0

oldest query in the queue: June 1

casualty of the week: query in which the writer claimed to be exclusively querying on account of being impressed by my site (which they apparently thought I would believe despite the fact that they sent an attachment though my site expressly directs not to; the text of the email is only 4 lines long and reveals nothing about the book other than its title and the author’s opinion that it still needs work)

d.o.a.: the submission of resume and headshot attachments from actress/spokesmodel seeking an agent for their acting career (no idea how this person even got here or what they thought)

mortally wounded and probably not going to make it: query that arrived with sample pages written in Portuguese (which I unfortunately cannot read)

Every time I get something that flouts guidelines (especially if it tells me so), it makes me appreciate all those who send what’s requested that much more.

9 responses to “letters from the query wars 6/18/2010

  1. Words once again fail me, and thank you for posting this.
    I just submitted again to another agency and painstakingly read, re-read and then read again the guidelines for submission. I actually fretted aloud because they hadn’t told me *in what order* to do the ten first pages and the plot summary to be copied and pasted into the query letter, and agonized for five minutes before going pages first, summary second.
    Either I am an OCD Capricorn, or I am really committed. I hope it’s the latter.
    Once again, thank you, fellow writers, for not giving a damn about the guidelines. You make my odds incrementally better. Oh, and congratulations on being mostly caught up! Celebrate.

  2. That’s incredible. It’s only hilarious for me because I’m not you. Absolutely incredible.

  3. That sample pages written in a language you don’t read only qualifies it as probably not going to make it is freakin hilarious.

  4. Funny but sad too
    I did laugh about all that, but think about all the time they spent presumably writing their book, only to spend no time getting ready to send it to an agent.
    Though they are probably sending it to dozens of agents all at once.
    We plan to just send ours to Jennifer first. Then if she turns it down (sigh) we’ll move on to other agents. But Jennifer is our first choice.

  5. ROLF! The Portuguese! They’re everywhere. They (we!) are INSIDIOUS. 🙂 Also — as I’ve suspected of self this week — clearly ditsy.

  6. I don’t understand why, if someone’s going to take the time to write a full novel, s/he wouldn’t also take the time to query properly. Seems to me that all bad queries are “d.o.a.”

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