Tuesday, March 27, 2012

More thoughts on query letters!

Since I'm now agenting at the Corvisiero Literary Agency and reading and accepting queries, I thought I might drop a few lines and help you aspiring authors out there.

One of my teachers, journalism teacher, was talking about things that got on his nerves not too long ago. I got upset when he started talking about receiving queries that the author obviously didn't follow the guidelines. I thought it was stupid of him to be so picky.

Well call me Ms. Picky because I've turned into him.

Well...I wouldn't say I'm really picky, but I've noticed things that have gotten on my nerves as well. So, I thought I would write a quick blog about how authors can improve their queries, so agents won't toss them into the trash pile.

First off, READ THE GUIDELINES! It doesn't take that long to read how the agent wants their emails to be. This will help know what the agent is looking for and also shows the agent that the author cares enough about their work to check and see first.

Secondly, please, please, do not slop over your query. Make sure there are NO grammatical mistakes before sending it off. Seeing mistakes in the query shows the agent there are plenty in their work as well.

Third, this is something that rubs me the wrong way. When an author sends his query to all the agents in the same email! That is crazy! If you do not have the time to seperate the emails do not send them. And plus, not all agencies want their queries the same way! How could you possibly send it to that many agents at once! That is bonkers!

Fourth, make sure your email is pretty. Do not paste it in a big blog of text. This makes my head hurt really bad. Make some paragraphs for pete's sake. Huff.

Fifth and final, do not send three or four queries in the same email. Send one book at a time. I'm not superwoman. I need to focus on one query at a time, not three different summaries. It's confusing and not to mention lazy!

:) Those are just some things that I had on my mind. I hope this has helped a little bit!

P.S I don't normally like attachments. :)


  1. It's always interesting to see what agents get in the query box. I can't believe, after hearing it over and over again, that they still query multiple agents at one time! That's a nice way to end up deleted! The rules are simple to follow, even for lazy people. Honestly, if you're too lazy to research agents and send out personalized queries, you have no business getting an agent. The road to publication is not easy! If you can't do a simple thing like that, how can you handle anything more? just my thoughts. Sorry for the tangent. lol. Great post and congratulations on being an agent and working with Marisa!!!!

  2. I agree with you 100%! I understand that some authors are newbies but one should always do background information before starting something new. No worries about the tangent, reading them makes my day better and helps it go by faster. :) Oh, and thank you, I love working with Marisa and Jordy. They are both fantastic!

  3. I learned along the way that querying several agents with a single query letter is a newly mistake. I also think it speaks leaps and bounds to the agent, that the writer is not willing to do the work necessary to get a good agent. It all comes down to work ethic. Do the work, put in the hours, and show that you can do what an agent or publisher expects.

    Thanks for the interesting read, Ms. Booker.

  4. That is so true. It shows the agent so much about an author just by the way they query us. You've got it down!

    I'm glad you've enjoyed my post!


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