Tag Archives: Query Letter

To Query or NOT to Query — That IS the Question

Face it: if we want to get published, we MUST write query letters. Maybe many of them.

Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents had some interesting details to share about successful Queries. He has shared many actual queries and included comments from the targeted literary agent who actually accepted the author as a client following the reading of his/her query. The one I read was published online at Writer’s Digest: Guide to Literary Agents on March 1, 2016, if you’d like to read the entire article. He followed that up with an interesting article made up of agents’ thoughts on making connections with a new writer/client through their query letters. They had some thought‑provoking and informative ideas about what to do — and what NOT to do:

“. . . mutual respect for one another’s time and efforts goes a long way. I hate asking an author to drop everything and get me something ASAP, and feel similarly when the roles are reversed.” Elizabeth Weed (Weed Literary).

“A lasting relationship with an agent is not a guarantee. I have let go of clients and they have let go of me. For me, usually communication style is the issue or authors who push the boundaries of the relationship—i.e., try and tell me how to do my job, or when to do my job . . .” Elizabeth Kracht (Kimberley Cameron & Associates)

“My dream client is someone who believes strongly enough in the work not to be deterred, but who can also be flexible enough to take good editorial advice.” Michael Bourret (Dystel & Goderich)

“A dream client is someone who writes wonderfully; understands promotion and knows how to build a tribe; always makes a deadline; is gracious with critique and direction; and is kind, grateful, smart and makes me laugh.” Rachelle Gardner (Books & Such Literary)

“Respect my time. Don’t expect me to constantly call if there’s no news to report. Trust that I know what I’m doing and don’t take the advice of writers at conferences or in your writing groups over mine . . . Understand that publishing moves slowly at times, and I’m just as frustrated as you are if we have to wait for a check, a contract, or a response to a submitted manuscript.” Jennifer De Chiara (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)

“A dream client is one whose talent continually surprises me, and my belief in it is what keeps me on my toes to make sure I’m doing right by his or her work.” Brian DeFiore (DeFiore and Company)

“The best writers I work with are flexible and adaptable.” Carly Watters (P.S. Literary Agency)

“. . . my dream client attributes: a natural ability to write—and well; a good idea of how to build a platform; a good attitude; and perseverance.” Dawn Michelle Frederick (Red Sofa Literary)

Episode #25 – Writing a Query Letter with Michael Bourret

About Michael Bourret:

Michael_BourretI can’t say that reading was a habit I developed all on my own. My mother started reading to me before I can even remember, and by time she sent me off to kindergarten, she made sure I already had an interest in books. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve bedtime reading with my mom; whether it was Freaky Friday (my favorite children’s book) orThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, it seemed like we were always reading something together. I remember being completely lost in these other worlds, eagerly awaiting the next book and next adventure. My love of books grew from that point on, though I never thought it would become a career.

In high school and college I studied visual arts, mostly photography and film. I felt that my creative energies were best suited to these media, until, after three years of college, I decided I needed a change.

When I began working at DGLM, I found that there was a way that I could help other artists achieve their goals. Truth be known, my tastes lie more on the non-fiction side; I love memoirs, biographies, histories, pop-science, current events, food writing and business—really, I’ll read anything an author can make interesting.  Despite my love of nonfiction, I’m always looking for great novels, no matter if they’re for adults, teens, or younger readers, as it was those great stories my mom read to me as a child that made me the reader I am today.

About James Duckett

James is a geeky, nerdy dude. He writes, sometimes. He blogs, sometimes. He's helpful to people, sometimes. He doesn't like to repeat himself, sometimes. He's funny... looking... always.

His hopes and aspirations of the future is to one day find a way that people will pay him while he sleeps. It is his dream job.