Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Little Bit You Always Wanted to Know About Queries

By Pat Stoltey

The truth is, you can't learn everything there is to know about queries. Agents have their own ideas about what makes a great query letter, and those ideas vary according to the agent's personal and literary preferences. Published authors give conflicting advice because what worked for one didn't necessarily work for the next.

One thing I spotted last week made great sense, however. Don't advertise your query process in articles, blog posts, or newsletters. I first spotted Janet Reid, Literary Agent's post on "what she said" and followed Janet's link to Jessica Faust's "Thought for the Day" on the Bookends, LLC blog. These two posts are very short and worth your attention.

Here is a list of great resources, most of them from Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents Blog (and if you don't already subscribe to Chuck's GLA newsletter, you're missing a lot of good information because that's where I spotted the links listed below).

10/6/09 Guide to Literary Agents blog What Should You Write in the Bio Paragraph of a Query Letter?

1/22/10 Chuck Sambuchino at Joyce Hart's blog, From the Heart: Hartline Literary Agency 10 Smart Questions About the Query Process

2/3/10 Guide to Literary Agents blog How to Trim Your Query to 250 Words (or Fewer): Advice from Agent Janet Reid

3/19/10 Guide to Literary Agents blog 5 Query Letter Tips

6/22/10 Anne Gallagher at Guide to Literary Agents blog The 5 Stages of Querying

11/11/10 Guide to Literary Agents blog Agent Mollie Glick Talks: 7 Things Agents Want to See in a Query, and 9 Things They Don't

5/6/11 Ted Fox at Guide to Literary Agents blog The Art of the Query, Humor Style

If anyone else has a link to an outstanding article or blog post on the query process, let us know.


Anonymous said...

Great links, Patricia.

Thanks for putting them together so nicely!

Anonymous said...

Pat - Thanks for this - a fine resource :-).

The Old Silly said...

That's a valuable list - thanks, Pat!

Marvin D Wilson

Dean K Miller said...

Thanks, Pat. Someday I'll be able to utilize this great information (I hope!)

Jenny said...

Great list, Pat. Thanks!

Giles Hash said...

Great post, and great links! This is why I only talk about my queries briefly. I limit it to, "Gotta work today, so I'm querying work 'A' instead of querying 'A' while editing work 'B'."


John Paul McKinney said...

Thanks. This is going to be really helpful. I've also noticed the conflicting advice about queries from one agent to the next.