Tag Archives | how not to query

Dear Agent, Please, let me explain…

Dear Agent,

This has been bothering me for almost a year. And I always wished I could explain this to you, but I knew better than to send an email back justifying my writing.

You see, two years ago, I queried your agency on a whim after a conference. So, I was totally surprised and amazed when I received a super positive rejection. And I deserved the big R. I can see that. Now. But since you invited me to send something else, I did. Too early. And you rejected that story too. But again, you invited me to submit more. And you were nice. For the first time, I felt validated in all my time and effort. And I thank you for that.

I cringe now. It was totally too early to query you again a few months later. Even though, honestly, this third manuscript was the first time I queried more than two agents. The manuscript was ready. You see, previously, I knew in my gut the others weren’t ready. But something you have to understand about writers is that sometimes we just can’t help it. We have to query. Especially when we don’t have a lot of querying experience.

The third time was not the charm. I sent you a manuscript with a completely different tone and style, and it threw you off. I understand. I get it. But I’m not going to apologize for that. I enjoy writing humorous with heart, and I enjoy writing darker stories. 

But if it weren’t for my experience with you and the burned bridge, I wouldn’t have learned some valuable lessons.

  • A positive rejection is nice but it’s still a rejection.
  • I  better understand the meaning of story structure and how important it is to complete macro revisions, not just rewrite or polish.
  • I no longer query too early. Even though the trigger finger gets itchy, I wrap it in duct tape.
  •  When I write more serious or dark, I try to infuse a humorous side too, so I won’t completely freak agents out I’m querying for a second time.
  • I will always take my time querying between manuscripts. Make sure I’m growing in craft and bringing something new to the table.

I guess that’s about it. So, to wrap it up, I’m sorry I queried you like three times within twelve months.

Thank you for your time.



Comments { 13 }