letters from the query wars 9.9.2011

# of queries reviewed week ending 8.19.11: 10
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: n/a

# of queries reviewed week ending 8.26.11: 0
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: n/a

# of queries reviewed week ending 9.2.11: 0
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: n/a

# of queries reviewed week ending 9.9.11: 274
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 3
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: science fiction, historical fantasy, YA-paranormal

Things that made me go huh in this last batch….

* The sheer number of people who can’t be bothered to begin a letter with a salutation. And the number of those who can’t be bothered to include a letter of any kind.

* Not sending the requested first five pages and stating only full manuscript requests will be considered (it would apparently be meaningless as the book can only be appreciated in its entirety). Closely followed by first novels that will not be finished for another six months.

* Sending a one-liner email with the full manuscript attached.

* Indicating that the query was sent because of a characteristic of two novels that I have sold where those two novels have not yet been released, and one of them is by a debut author, so claiming any sort of familiarity with the work seems unlikely. This really comes across as someone looking up the most recent sales on PM and using them in an attempt to personalize without actually doing real homework. Go figure.

3 responses to “letters from the query wars 9.9.2011

  1. Salutations are so 2010.

    I have a question, by the way. Seeing as you read the synopsis before the full, how do you see twists with fresh eyes?

    Let’s pretend it’s the thirties and you’re reading the synopsis for Lord Edgware Dies/Thirteen at Dinner. “Jolly good,” you think, requesting the full.

    But HOW do you not scream “Obvious!” at the little subtle hints and clues throughout the manuscript when you already know who the killer is? How can you assess the quality of said hints and clues?

    For me, it’s only that one, unspoiled first read of the actual book/ms that can tell me if it’s a clever little clue, a clue the average reader is bound to miss, or if it’s a clunky eyesore of a hint, revealing the twist on page 3.

  2. Hi,

    I have a brief question for you regarding writer-agent etiquette: If an agent includes a personal note with a rejection letter, should that be the end of the correspondence, or might the writer send a reply thanking them for the the feedback..? I understand agents receive large volumes of email / mail, so perhaps only saying thank you for such feedback upon resubmission is the better choice?

    Thank you

  3. Pingback: Never tell me the odds « R. H. Culp

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