Merry Querying

Check out writer JM Tohline's EXTENSIVE blog post on The Biggest Mistakes a Writer Makes When Querying Literary Agents in which 50 agents respond to the question: "What is the single biggest mistake writers make when querying you?" Tohline notes that most agents began their response with: "'Only one? How about several!"

Tohline writes, "Yes, reading this will take up a bit of your time (20-30 minutes, to give you a fair projection), but…how important is the success of your novel to you? You've (presumably) spent hundreds of hours planning, writing, editing, and perfecting your manuscript. Now, it is time to treat your query with the same respect."


Suzan Harden said…
Thanks so much for the link, Mylene. Now, if only I had a time machine so I could stop myself from sending that very first query... *grin*
Mylène said…
Ah, well, Suzan, what can we do? It's been years since I've sent out queries, so I was surprised by some of the agents' no-nos. No word count for a manuscript? No copyright notice along with your byline? Luckily, wee concerns, and easy to adapt to (by providing the weight of the manuscript, and, if asked, confirming that it was not--or was--produced by James Patterson's assistants). ;-)
Wait, NO WORD COUNT???? Maybe I SHOULD look at this post, then. Right now I'm trying to focus hard on revisions and not so much on the business side, because whenever I focus on that, I go into instant "my book is too literary fucking kill me now" mode. So I've found it best (for me) just to forget all that FOR NOW.

And "it's been years since I've sent out queries." Wow. What I would give to be able to say that!
JM Tohline said…
Just stumbled across this blog post; thanks for putting it up!