Writers Beware – Don’t Try This At Home
Sometimes my in-box turns up the most interesting things. For example, this query I received:
r It showed over a dozen agents’ email addresses in the “to” line.
r It was addressed to “Dear Sir/Madam.” (I don’t answer to either.)
r It was not even remotely related to “Christian worldview” which is our agency’s specialty.
r It didn’t include the elements required in a query letter as explained in the WordServe submission guidelines.
r Best of all, the letter stated that that the writer believed I was “exactly the right agent” for the project – apparently all the other dozen-or-so agents on the list fit this description too.
r And just to make things interesting, the book was pitched as a novel but was only 35,000 words… a novella, for which the market is miniscule.
Now let me tell you something. Many agents would simply delete this query, unanswered, no guilt, not waste a second on it. (See this agent interview.)
Of course, I chose to respond in my slightly-snarky-yet-trying-to-be-polite fashion. I said that I couldn’t consider the query, but asked the writer to “please read our submission guidelines to determine if we really are the right agents” for that project.
If you want agents to take their valuable time reading and considering your query, you would be smart to:
(1) research the agency first,
(2) address it to the agent’s NAME, and
(3) do NOT let your “to” line show other addressees!
I’m just sayin.