Friday, April 23, 2010

My Beef With The Query Process

Hello fellow writers. Are you stuck in query hell? Have you spent hours researching agents until your eyes cross and your server screams for mercy? Do you cringe before opening your email account, dreading the next rejection or worse still, the lack of response, only to go through the process again an hour later?

I feel your pain. I know agents don’t want to hear about our rejections or our laments about lack of feedback, but I’ve got to let off some stream. I can’t hold back any longer. Somebody needs a wake-up call.

First off, what idiot spent the first two months querying agents without sending a test email to themselves first? ME, that’s who. And guess what Sparky? Remember all those ‘extra’ lines of white space you deleted in the gmail composition window? You fool! You sent over ten queries that showed up as solid blocks of text with zero, I repeat zero, white space! ARRRGGGHHHH!

Not to mention the fact that you blathered on in the opening paragraph in the persona of a minor character seconds before their death. Exciting? Maybe. Stupid? Definitely.

What really gets me is that you kept firing off this abomination to agent after agent even though your stomach was twisting into knots, your palms were sweaty, and your vision was tunneling. Listen to your body, schmuck! It was trying to knock you out before you could burn more bridges!

Okay, new rule. You will absolutely not, under any circumstances, send out queries to agents without sitting on the proposed letter overnight and test-emailing the submission to yourself. Remember that little voice in the night that gave you heart palpitations when it said, “Hey numbnuts, you wrote: Below is my synopsis and first five pages.” Damnit, that’s supposed to be ‘Below are . . .’ .

What am I going to do with you? And one more thing. If you want to see that SASE again, put your address in the center of the envelope, moron, not in the upper left hand corner.

Oh, the humanity!


  1. Yuck...queries. I feel your pain. We need a support group. Seriously. ;-)


  2. Don't feel too bad! My first batch of queries last year went out with the body of the email saying (correctly) that the work was 130,000 words, and the subject line saying it was 135,000. Oops. Nevermind that within days of sending twenty or so queries, I came to the knowledge that anything over 120,000 words is basically unsellable.

    Back to revisions... and back to querying. At least you can always keep trying!

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