letters from the query wars 11.18.11

# of queries responded to week ending 11.11.11: 186
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: n/a

# of queries responded to this week: 173
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: n/a

Dear Devoted Parent of a Perhaps Talented Writer:
Thanks for sending a query on behalf of your child. I can tell from your letter that you are very proud…

I think I’ve mentioned before that having someone else write a query for your novel is not my preference. Having received queries this week written by someone’s parent, a random editorial service, a publicist, a teacher, and others who were not the author of the book in question, I’m bringing this up again.

As was the case with the publicist generated letter, these services typically do not send requested materials or follow guidelines. It certainly puts those queries at a disadvantage. It’s a pity that people elect to pay for such things when so many seem not to make due diligence in submissions and/or indiscriminately submit without even checking to see what an agency represents.

A query letter is the first introduction to the author that the agent sees. I don’t want to hear about your novel from your teacher or your parent, no matter how well-meaning. I want to hear it from you.

3 responses to “letters from the query wars 11.18.11

  1. Did the mom enclose the first X pages, and was it any good? *wry grin*

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

  3. Authors tend to moan about how the game is rigged against them, but you make your living off this too. I’m making an assumption there; I guess you could moonlight as a hired gun. But considering that this is your livelihood, do odds like those posted above make you balk a bit as well? I’m sure you’d rather be inundated with good material than having to waste time on Grandma’s 8 query letters for lil’ Billy. As an author it can be hard to keep sending query after query after query. As an agent, how do you maintain your tenacity in receiving [bad] query after [awful] query after [terrible] query?

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