Must Read For Those About To Query

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
Post Reply
Down the well
Posts: 516
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:22 pm
Contact:

Must Read For Those About To Query

Post by Down the well » December 11th, 2010, 1:36 pm

Anyone querying, or thinking about sending a query, needs to read this. Really. Do it now. Go.


http://www.jmtohline.com/2010/12/bigges ... -when.html


It's from writer JM Tohline, and I hope he doesn't mind me linking to his blog, but this information is too valuable not to pass on.

User avatar
Watcher55
Posts: 741
Joined: November 27th, 2010, 8:25 am
Location: Plantser-ville
Contact:

Re: Must Read For Those About To Query

Post by Watcher55 » December 11th, 2010, 2:31 pm

Life is so cool when someone does you a favor and ends up doing you two. Not only is this a great article, but Tohline included the perspective of the agent I want working for me.

Thanks

This one made me say: NO WAY!
And finally (I hope I don't have to tell you this, but…), you never do this either (courtesy of Helen Breitwieser) –

A guy once Googled me and used my younger sister's name and my high school in a query letter, as in, "imagine your sister (insert name here) was found dead in the trunk of a car in the parking lot of (insert high school here)" then he wrote, "now that I have your attention." Bad idea.

Netti
Posts: 110
Joined: September 14th, 2010, 12:36 pm
Contact:

Re: Must Read For Those About To Query

Post by Netti » December 11th, 2010, 3:32 pm

Ah, but here's my question. They want us to be respectful to them by putting their name in the salutation. Why can't they take five seconds to show us the same courtesy? We work hard too, don't we deserve some recognition?
"It's kind of shocking to hear Toby called a babe; sort of like calling God a studmuffin."
- Margaret Atwood, Year of the Flood

http://myscientificattempt.blogspot.com/

Down the well
Posts: 516
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Must Read For Those About To Query

Post by Down the well » December 11th, 2010, 3:37 pm

Netti wrote:Ah, but here's my question. They want us to be respectful to them by putting their name in the salutation. Why can't they take five seconds to show us the same courtesy? We work hard too, don't we deserve some recognition?
Because some of these agents get up to a hundred queries a day. I don't blame them for having to use a form.

Moni12
Posts: 293
Joined: September 30th, 2010, 8:58 pm
Contact:

Re: Must Read For Those About To Query

Post by Moni12 » December 11th, 2010, 5:30 pm

I'm with Netti on this one. I have only recieved two personal rejections and it felt so good because I felt like the agent was actually recognizing and respecting me as a writer. I understand they get a lot of queries, but I think they could at least put our names in the salutation of a form rejection especially since they stress about spelling the name right (I've heard cases where the misspelled a writer's name) or individually emailing a query to each agent instead of sending a mass email. Rejection feels a lot better and more encouraging when they at least include the writer's name.

Down the well
Posts: 516
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Must Read For Those About To Query

Post by Down the well » December 11th, 2010, 6:25 pm

Moni12 wrote:Rejection feels a lot better and more encouraging when they at least include the writer's name.
Agreed, but it is what it is. And I think "Dear Author" responses will only get worse as more and more people attempt to write novels and query agents. For me, a worse feeling is getting no response at all, which unfortunately seems to be the new trend. The only thing we can control is the writing and the professionalism on our end. Anyway I thought this post had a lot of great advice straight from the agents on how to stand out in the slush pile -- in a good way.

User avatar
Heather B
Posts: 234
Joined: May 23rd, 2010, 7:56 pm
Location: Newcastle - the Australian one.
Contact:

Re: Must Read For Those About To Query

Post by Heather B » December 13th, 2010, 1:18 am

Thanks, Down the well! That was heaps useful!
Whether we think agents should personalize or not, it doesn't change a thing - we need one. This blog just puts all the contradictions into one big basket for us to choose from.
Journey to the Cuckoo's Nest

http://heathermbryant.blogspot.com.au/

Margo
Posts: 1712
Joined: April 5th, 2010, 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: Must Read For Those About To Query

Post by Margo » December 13th, 2010, 12:04 pm

Netti wrote:Ah, but here's my question. They want us to be respectful to them by putting their name in the salutation. Why can't they take five seconds to show us the same courtesy? We work hard too, don't we deserve some recognition?
Moni12 wrote:I understand they get a lot of queries, but I think they could at least put our names in the salutation of a form rejection especially since they stress about spelling the name right (I've heard cases where the misspelled a writer's name) or individually emailing a query to each agent instead of sending a mass email.

Let me put it in pure numbers. Did you send (and personalize) 10,000 queries last year? Working full-time, besides querying, do you think you could even if you wanted to?

If they send form rejections, we complain.

If they send no response, we complain.

If they reject at all, we complain.

I have even seen complaints that the agent doesn't use a no response policy to reject.

I know that rejection is hard. I know we seek out the little encouragements to keep us going. But once the writing is over, it's about business. In what other business relationship would we complain about not having our emotional needs attended to?
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

Margo
Posts: 1712
Joined: April 5th, 2010, 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: Must Read For Those About To Query

Post by Margo » December 13th, 2010, 12:14 pm

Watcher55 wrote:This one made me say: NO WAY!
Yeah, I was creeped out by that one, too.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

Down the well
Posts: 516
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Must Read For Those About To Query

Post by Down the well » December 13th, 2010, 5:20 pm

Heather B wrote:Thanks, Down the well! That was heaps useful!
Whether we think agents should personalize or not, it doesn't change a thing - we need one. This blog just puts all the contradictions into one big basket for us to choose from.
Girl, where have you been? Glad you found it helpful. :)

Margo wrote:If they reject at all, we complain.
Yeah, I wish they'd stop doing that. :P

User avatar
Heather B
Posts: 234
Joined: May 23rd, 2010, 7:56 pm
Location: Newcastle - the Australian one.
Contact:

Re: Must Read For Those About To Query

Post by Heather B » December 14th, 2010, 3:18 am

Down the well wrote:
Girl, where have you been? Glad you found it helpful. :)

Margo wrote:If they reject at all, we complain.
Yeah, I wish they'd stop doing that. :P

I've had no internet, I feel reborn.

And yeah, it is a bad habit they've developed...
Journey to the Cuckoo's Nest

http://heathermbryant.blogspot.com.au/

Margo
Posts: 1712
Joined: April 5th, 2010, 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: Must Read For Those About To Query

Post by Margo » December 14th, 2010, 12:37 pm

Down the well wrote:
Margo wrote:If they reject at all, we complain.
Yeah, I wish they'd stop doing that. :P
My only major complaint is that Nathan has started nailing his office furniture to the floor to hinder our fab parties while he's gone. Oooh, just occured to me that we need to locate his new office (figuratively, people! no stalking!). Officewarming party, anyone???
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

Guardian
Posts: 563
Joined: September 29th, 2010, 4:36 pm
Location: Somewhere between two realms
Contact:

Re: Must Read For Those About To Query

Post by Guardian » December 15th, 2010, 2:43 pm

Thanks. This is a very useful article. I'm going to incorporate every little stuff into the next query after I'm done with the final rewrite.

Thanks for posting it.

Bron
Posts: 71
Joined: December 21st, 2009, 6:21 pm
Contact:

Re: Must Read For Those About To Query

Post by Bron » December 26th, 2010, 8:06 am

I'm about to start querying and I've bookmarked that post. Thanks for pointing it out to us!

Leila
Posts: 140
Joined: December 8th, 2009, 1:16 am
Contact:

Re: Must Read For Those About To Query

Post by Leila » January 20th, 2011, 12:14 pm

Margo wrote:
Watcher55 wrote:This one made me say: NO WAY!
Yeah, I was creeped out by that one, too.
Me too!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest