Go read Is This a Query You Sent Me? at Thoughts from a Literary Agent by Marisa Iozzi Corvisiero.
And lest you think the query she posted is a one-time, unusual occurrence, let me assure you it is not. I get queries and submissions similar to this ALL. THE. TIME.
And yes, in my day job, I usually e-mail back something like, “Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, at this time it is not a good match for our company. Good luck in your search for publication.”
4 thoughts on “Want an idea of what NOT to do in a query?”
Surely I can do better than that, and still receive the same response.
Well, I tried to post over there, but I don't have accounts with any of the service IDs and I'm not going to have.
I think she shouldn't have posted the letter at all. I think it was crass and she wanted kudos for being "kind" and "sensitive." Because you know why? The people who read those blogs already know not to do that. The people who write those kinds of letters probably aren't even on the internet.
That letter was from someone who doesn't know where to start. He is not the target audience for literary blogs. I didn't cringe for the letter writer's skills or lack thereof. I cringed at the blogger's need to post it.
FURTHERMORE! The people who were piling on are no better.
The things that some literary agents post on their blogs and say on Twitter about people who query them are condescending, provincial, and pretty much sickening.
Moriah, I agree about the people piling on and making fun. That's not nice.
BUT. I disagree that examples of what not to do, and explanations of what to do instead, ARE needed on how-to blogs.
Based on my experience here, beginners do sometimes stumble across this information and revise their way of doing things based on what they read on blogs like hers— and blogs like mine.
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