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)