Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm just not that into me, either

One of the things that just makes me snarl when reading query letters is "your job as an agent" followed by anything. Even if it's complimentary.

It grates on my next to last nerve.

The query letter isn't about my job as an agent; not how hard it is (it isn't), how important it is (I'm not curing cancer here), or what a divine responsibility it is (the only divinity in this office comes in a box). I'm not making those up either--I've seen all of them.

A query letter is about YOU. Tell me about your project. And you, if you must. We can save extolling my fabulosity until I've done something hard, important or divine: like sell your book.

13 comments:

CNU said...

Completely rhetorical question- why would your job need to be explained?

If the 'querier' thought you didn't understand it or needed clarification then why bother contacting this supposedly ignorant individual?

This is a strange little ball of water and goo we all live on... strange world indeed.

Oh well.

-C

DebraLSchubert said...

Thanks for the laughs. Your job as an agent is awe-inspiring and complex. Neurosurgeons and commercial airline pilots have got nothing on you.;-)

Kim Kasch said...

I love that you are so humble, oh wait...this wasn't about you and your fabulosity.

I'm just saying...love the spin you put on the wonderful world of publishing and agenting.

Tara Maya said...

Newbies don't know what to say, so they flounder. I wrote my first query letter straight out of high school and had never had a professional job; I had no idea how to write a professional letter in any context. I wrote a query letter the way I would have written to a relative or friend or imaginary friend. I even illustrated it.

I no longer illustrate my query letters.

Sarah Jensen said...

Don't worry Tara, we all make mistakes. I could've been on #queryfail many times over when I started. Heck, I still might make it with a blunder this week. :)

Marilyn said...

Your venting made me totally laugh. I think I laughed even more when I read some of the comments....do people forget you are human?

Joan Mora said...

Thanks for the daily laugh. Keep snarling, we get it.

Kerry said...

so... your job as an agent is to hear all about ME. Woohoo! I KNEW I was at the center of world rotation!

Laura said...

I love this comment, so much. :)

Jay said...

Nobody really knows what my job entails, either, and I'd find it highly amusing if someone tried to tell me my job description! (Other than my boss, of course1)

Oh, wait, they do, and it is amusing!

Haste yee back ;-) said...

WARNING!...

Janet's next to last nerve is in her trigger finger!

Haste yee back ;-)

Cardinal said...

The comment about divinity should not have been read whilst drinking iced tea. ;)

behlerblog said...

"your job as an agent"...It grates on my next to last nerve.
Only to be seconded by "I want you to publish my work." Total WTF moment where I tell my secretary, the unreliable beagle, "Yah, I'll get right on it."

Not.