Several days ago I put out a call asking for query letters to critique so I could show them to folks attending a workshop.
I received 25, and was able to use about 23. Only one person quivered (so far) at my cold cruel hand. (A new personal best for me, usually they drop like flies).
The thing that has amazed me, really amazed me, is how much better the queries got after one or two revisions. Several went from things I would have rejected in a heartbeat to things I'd actually read.
I've long bemoaned how hard it is for writers to get query letter feedback. Writing conferences emphasize pitching. I think that's a serious serious mistake. The writers are panic stricken, for starters. Even if I like the idea I need to see the actual writing, and it's impossible to help someone with a query letter if they're speaking it to you and trying not to hyperventilate.
So, before I reconsider and/or come to my senses, a quick poll. Where are those of you who read this blog in the query letter process?
(and if you're my client, you better not say click any of these answers! I ain't lettin' none of you go, no matter how much you beg, scream or holler.)
I ask because it occurs to me that doing one letter a week or so, with edits, comments and revisions, might be of use to people here. I'm absolutely not going to do some sort of crazy ass free for all with 500 letters and comments on each one. Noooooo. One a week might even be too much.
The thing is, if you've got a good project and the only thing standing between me, and it, is a crappy query letter, I'd be one smart agent to help you fix it so I'd be enticed to read it, wouldn't I?
(that question is not on the poll but I hope you'd all say yes.)