I’m calling to tell you about my story.
query by phone. Or text. Email queries, referrals, and conferences are the best
ways to approach an agent. But you should check an agent’s website for
submission and query guidelines, and follow those to the letter.
tells me immediately that you have no idea who I am or what I represent.
tells me immediately that you know how to do a mail merge, but not that you
know how to write. For more, see #1.
tells me immediately that you have no idea who I am or what I represent, right
down to my name and gender. It also tells me that I can expect a careless
manuscript full of typos, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies.
I know you don’t represent “insert genre I don’t
represent here,” but mine is different.
agents specialize for a reason: Namely, they know what they can sell, and what
they can’t. Why would you approach an agent who doesn’t sell what you need
You can sell my 210,000-word story as one big
novel or seven 30,000-word books in an epic series.
word-count guidelines is the quickest way to discourage any professional from
reading your work. If you don’t know the
word-count guidelines for your genre, look it up.
All my beta readers love it.
is almost the same thing as saying that your mother loves it. For all I know,
it could actually be the same thing, as your mother may very well number among
your beta readers. This means less than nothing to me, unless your mother and
indeed all of your beta readers are bestselling authors in your genre. In which
case, you have most definitely buried the lead.
I’ve attached my full manuscript as a word doc.
have overflowing inboxes. And attachments can be computer viruses waiting to
happen. Do not include any attachments
in your queries unless specifically requested to do so.
I’ve attached my entire manuscript as a pdf.
Word documents are the industry standard. Submitting a pdf screams paranoid
aspiring amateur author and/or (perhaps justifiably) paranoid screenwriter
turned novelist. Neither (necessarily) inspires confidence.
my book on a flash drive for you.
your time and money. Flash drives may be lighter than hard copies, but they are
just as likely to get lost or tossed.
It goes without saying—but it happens often
enough that I’m going to say it—that you should never insult the publishing
professionals you meet on your quest to get published, agents included. It’s a small world, and what goes around
comes around. I’m just sayin.’
Labels: agent, literary agency, Paula Munier, plot perfect, query, query letter, submission guidelines, Talcott Notch, Writer's Digest, writing, writing tips