Today I’m sending out query letters to literary agents, starting out with Wishes in a Bottle since I’m so close to finishing that 3-book series. I’m a nervous wreck. I’m checking and double checking, and double checking my double checking before sending each one. My tummy is so twisty that I can’t eat (though it would probably help settle the nerves, I know). I spent the morning & afternoon pouring over my list of agencies, which I keep in its own Scrivener project, checking their query status (as in, if they’re accepting submissions or not), which agent is accepting romance or which seems to be the best fit, updating info, etc. Then this evening I’ve been putting together the queries and sending.
Each agent/agency has very specific requirements for a query; it’s not like you can do up one query letter and synopsis and send to everyone. So first you see what they need (query plus 10 pages, or query, 2-page synopsis (double or single spaced) plus first chapter, or first 10 pages, or… whatever. And that’s what you send. This is where (according to report, and annoyed Tweets from disgusted agents) lots of writers go wrong. They just send whatever to everyone. You can’t do that. This is a business, and you have to treat it as such. The query letter is your first contact with the agency, and you want to impress them not only with your manuscript but your professional approach. This is a business, and the literary agent is a business person, expecting to do business with a client (the author) in a professional manner. They are *busy* and have no time for special snowflakes. You can be the special snowflake AFTER signing the big movie deal or hitting the NY Times bestseller list with your first 3 books.
Anyway. Okay this was my break from submitting queries. Time for me to get back to it.
As a final note, I want to say I have a great supply of Hickory Farm’s Moose Munch, butterscotch pudding, cocoa fixin’s (not instant, either, yuck), several 12-packs of Dr. Pepper Cherry, and everything I need to make tacos, plus 4 boxes of Puffs (softer than Kleenex), so I’m totally ready for rejections to come pouring in. Bring it!