Posted on 03/08/2009


I’ve been following the #queryfail on Twitter for a few days and have to say, it’s made me question anything I put into a query letter now. Sure, it’s all subjective, what one agent hates, another will love…but damn some of these were such simple thing like spelling, or easy grammar changes that could have been caught. Do people just work up a fast query letter and throw it out to the agents to see if someone bites? If that’s the case, it gets me pretty pissed off.

For all of us writers who slave over the keyboard and work our butts off to make sure our story is good, and that when we choose to query, we work equally as hard on it to polish it and make it looks good — all these other people who write a few sentences on the page and send it out to agent, and WASTE THEIR TIME, only hurts us. Honestly, an agent would and could spend WAY more time with each query, if only they didn’t have to wade through 500 piles of crap before they did it. 

What does this mean to all of us who are serious? It means we have to work THAT MUCH HARDER to get our query read, and taken seriously. It’s like a good Texas Hold em poker player. Before he ever sees his pocket cards, he is going to fold. It’s only the turning over of good cards that makes him play the hand.  Agents are the same way. Before they ever click on the query, they are saying, “No.”  So you must change their mind AS SOON AS THEY open the query.

What a task. It seems insurmountable, but it isn’t. Good queries are written every day, and there are TONS of sites where a person can learn the fine art of querying.  So don’t be a lazy ass. Go out, learn the craft of query-writing and make a good one, so you don’t waste an agent’s time, and make it harder for everyone else to get their query read.