The More You Know…

Once again, I’m here to provide more tidbits for a better query letter.

With the availability of self-publishing, a large number of authors have gone this route and then look for representation afterwards.  Here’s the thing – if you are self-published looking for representation, don’t send a general letter without including synopses for your books.  The agent isn’t interested enough to ask for a synopsis in the first place without any information about your work.  Without any information about your published novels, you will surely receive a rejection letter.

Please please please refrain from including, “my novel was professionally edited” because guess what?  No one cares.  It’s good for you to know but completely irrelevant to the agent.  Make every word of your query letter count and stop wasting space with superfluous information about editing; you are a writer – it’s assumed your novel was edited!

Never Ever ever handwrite a letter.  If you don’t own a word processor/computer, go to the library or have someone type up the letter for you.  And especially don’t send a synopsis as a copy of handwritten notes. 

Exclamation points: I used it above for emphasis but when its used too much, it becomes ridiculous.  Use unless extremely necessary.

When discussing your novel, don’t explain the premise, use the synopsis for that.  It works better.

Lastly, don’t write, “In my opinion…” because guess what?  Your opinion doesn’t matter when it comes to getting an agent; the agent’s opinion does. 

Moral of this entry?  Be like Raymond Carver – make every word work in your letter.  Sometimes less is better. 

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