Thursday, June 30, 2011

Queries: A Necessary Evil

Every writer who's submitted a novel to an agent or publisher endured writing a query. Is it fun? No. Is it easy? I wish! But it's something that has to be done. It is the first impression the agent/publisher gets of your work. It gives them an idea of whether or not they want to read the rest of your book.

I don't know any writer who enjoys writing queries. It's not my favorite, but there are worse things. Like writing a synopsis. *shudder* I think we've all been tempted at one point to fall into the gimmicks. You know, like making our query letter so totally unconventional that an agent will have to pay attention. Like this guy. But the reason we don't is because we know better.

Writing is a business. Whether or not you think of it that way, it is. You have a service, and you're trying to sell it to someone else. You want to be taken seriously, so you act like a professional. Sadly, I think crazy queries work every so often (there is always an exception to the rule), which is why people keep trying them. However, in this business, it's always best to rely on professionalism, not gimmicks. Sure, the agent might remember you as the author that threatened to kidnap his child, but I don't think that's the reputation you want.

No matter how you look at it, you have to work for your art. And you have to write. I don't just mean your stories or books, but the little things in between, including the dreaded query. But that's okay, because writing is what you enjoy doing!

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