Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Are you exceptional?

The only thing in your query letter that should be the exception to the rule is your writing.

Nothing else.

No exception to "a query letter should be one page or about 250 words"

No exception to "include the first 3-5 pages of the novel."

No exception to "tell me what the novel is about in your query."

No exception to "one query = one project"

I can not emphasize enough that when I see this kind of "exceptional work" I just say no. I am not investing time in one-to-one email coaching on how to query. That's the purpose of this blog and QueryShark.

Sometimes you can't see your own mistakes. If you're getting a lot of "no" or a lot of silence (no response means no) take yourself to a writers conference and instead of pitching at a pitch session, get some feedback on your query letter.

I'm looking for exceptional writing....not writers who think they are exceptions.


Robert A Meacham said...

You make sense to me. But that is just my take.

Shelley Watters said...

This post makes a lot of sense. Not alot, but a lot. :)

The sad thing is that anyone who follows your blog already knows this, and those who don't aren't reading your blog.

Cassandra Jade said...

That seems pretty clear and is good advice for everyone to remember. Thanks for sharing.

OfficeGirl said...

Good advice to me.. Go Janet, go.

Wild Orchids for Trotsky said...

As a scientifically oriented person, I have a question about roundoff. When the first five pages are requested, it seems reasonable that one should at least round up to the nearest sentence. Should one also round to the nearest paragraph (assuming, say, paragraphs of 2-5 sentences)? If the first chapter is 6 or 7 pages, should one round to that and include those 7 pages? Thanks very much!