Query Letters #2: That First Sentence (or, Writers, it’s Attitude Adjustment Time)

Don Corleone

Query Letter Scans--It's Strictly Business

This is the Second Entry in Our Queries Series.

Literary Agents. Do. Not. Have. To. Read. Your. Query Letter.

I write this so stridently to reduce your anxiety.

Time and again I run into unpublished writers who believe, sincerely, that the literary agent’s job is to read and respond to to their unsolicited queries. This is NOT the agent’s reality.  The lit agent’s job is to effectively and collaboratively guide the careers of the clients who have hired her to represent them.  She is paid for this work, either [Read more…]

Query Letters: Jody’s Seven Goals

relaxing woman

Don't Sweat the Query

Query letters.  Yet again.

Holy smokes there’s a lot of query letter advice out here on the World Wide Web.   

And like everything in information-overload-land, that’s good and bad–it’s terrific for writers to have easy access to models and thoughtful counsel, but at the same time I’m a little concerned about the stressing out I see–the agony over each detail in each query; and the stridency of the dogma.  As in, “All query letters must start with x, end with y, and never, never include Popsicles.” 

Query letters are crucial, don’t get me wrong.  And yes, each book pitch does have to include some standard elements, like, well, the title of the book. 

But ultimately each letter is as individual as the book that is being pitched and the author who is writing it.  So rather than trying to fit your query into someone else’s mold, I suggest you sit back, take a deep breath, scribble out a quick rough draft, and [Read more…]