I’m currently in the stages of editing but with that comes the dreaded query and synopsis. Though I say dreaded it can be fun – at the beginning. You will experience SEVERAL revisions and even then someone can pick at it until there is nothing left.
Remember this – keep your voice. Do not lose yourself in the edits.
But I’m not here to talk about how to query (for tips see my right hand sidebar). I’m here to discuss the rules, guidelines, no-no’s.
There are so many.
Every agent is different and as a writer and prepare you must put your thinking skills to the test.
Does the agent prefer a more professional approach or do they like a side of creative?
Do they like you starting with a rhetorical question or would they rather have you just dive into the fun?
Did they ask for 5 pages or 50?
Do they except you to email the query or mail it?
So many things you have to ask yourself. Querying is daunting. You must take this seriously. Would you send your resume out in a mass email? No. (If you said yes I’m surprised you were hired…).
I’m an avid QueryTracker watcher. I love to see how agents are reacting. If they’re feeling anyone’s work of if it’s not hitting the mark. I change my tactics if the agent is offering tips or telling me their tired (yes I stalk them on twitter). It helps me gauge what I should write. After all this is much as luck as it is hard work.
Here is my recent problem.
People aren’t listening. I’m reading guidelines and in the comments someone says the agent emailed to ask for the first five pages. They were elated. Problem? That was part of their initial guidelines. The reader/writer wasn’t careful. Those are marks against you. Though their interested in your work you must be interested enough in them to do your research.
It makes it harder for others who follow rules to get in the door. The agent becomes tired. Stops asking for queries all together. It’s important to follow rules. In this case, they weren’t meant to be broken.
Do you follow the rules? How do you decide who to query?