Sunday, August 23, 2015
Help! My Query Letter Isn't Working (or, Query Letter Resources)
In general, there are two different kinds of rejections in the publishing world. There are form rejections, and there are personalized rejections. What I've been told is that a form rejection means you probably need to work on your query, because the agents probably aren't reading any further. Personalized rejections, while still rejections, are a bit more celebration-worthy because it means the agent probably read some of your actual manuscript and has actual suggestions or reasons the project is not for them.
I got all form rejections. This may not sound great, but I'm not surprised. This is where most authors start out, and although I fantasized about being one of the only authors EVER to land an agent on my first round of querying, I knew that most likely would not be the reality. So, after receiving a round of "thanks, but no thanks" responses to my agent queries, I know what I must do: try again.
In order to learn more about query letters, and in order to help anyone else out there in a similar position, I've gathered a list of great resources on query letters. Have fun researching, and as always, if YOU have any great resources or tips on query letters, please share!
The Complete Guide to Query Letters: Here are the basic necessities, spelled out step-by-step
Query Shark: This is a great blog by agent Janet Reid that includes queries that got a YES, and suggested revisions to submitted queries--kind of like a tutorial. You can also follow her on Twitter @QueryShark.
10 Dos and Don'ts of Query Letters: short, sweet and to-the-point, by Writer's Digest.
23 Query Letters that Worked: I'm definitely a learn-by-example kind of gal, so I love seeing examples of real-life letters that were successful!
Quite the Query: More successful letter examples (and featuring my friend Jessica Lawson...check out her voice-filled query!).
I Stop Reading When...: Find out some common mistakes that immediately turn agents off.
AgentQuery Connect: an online forum to give and get advice on query letters.
A Pretty Much Foolproof, Never-Fail, Silver Bullet Query Opening: If you like formulas, you'll like this.
Read Over 60 Successful Queries: More examples! Because really, we can all read and listen to how we're supposed to do it, but it's hard to know what works unless you see it.
What Agents DON'T Want in Query Letters: So now that you know what you should have, make sure you don't include any of these...