Dear Agent Number Three,
I just finished writing my new novel, All Agents Are Fools and So Are You Too, and was wondering if you’d like to represent me.
I hope you are smarter than the previous two agents I queried as they sent me a standard rejection letter. Obviously, either they didn’t read my novel or they were too stupid to appreciate it.
On the other hand, the members of my Book Club, all seasoned readers, couldn’t put it down and agreed it is a most excellent novel, destined to become a bestseller and/or win the Pulitzer Prize.
All Agents Are Fools and So Are You Too is a complex story that defies summarization. So I will not attempt to do so. Instead I’m sending it to you here as an attachment. I would recommend that you print it (it is only two thousands pages short) and take it home with you so you can appreciate it in full.
I will call you tomorrow at dinner time on your cell phone to see if you have received it.
Looking forward to signing your contract.
Best Author Ever
As I promised to Bella Nona, this blog is about queries.
A query is probably the most difficult piece of writing you’d ever attempt. But write it you must, if you want to lure an agent into reading your manuscript.
My first advice about writing a query is that you take your time. If you have already invested one, two, three years writing your novel, what are a few more weeks of waiting while you perfect your query?
After all, you don’t want your query to read like the one above, now, do you?
What is wrong with that query? you wonder.
Well, although there is nothing grammatically incorrect with it, some agents may find it a little too aggressive. Others could take offense at your insulting two of their colleagues. They may even know them personally and that would be embarrassing.
Also agents do like the query letter to include a summary of the book, and most do not accept e-mails with attachments unless they have requested them. And, believe it or not, they don’t like to be bothered while having dinner.
You only have about 250 words to convey the awesomeness of your book. Make every word count and get rid of superfluous ones. Adjectives and adverbs are prime suspects here, and should be ‘mercilessly’ eliminated. For instance, you don’t need to say you finished a ‘new’ novel. If you just finished it, could it be any other thing but new?
So now that we know what not to say in a query, I will proceed to write a perfect one, or at least a ‘perfectly serious’ one, and post it here next week.
Until then, enjoy your writing.
Carmen Ferreiro Esteban