Tuesday, May 04, 2010

You're not wasting my time

If you send me a query, and you've revised it more than once, read it aloud, and proofed it, you're not wasting my time by sending it. No matter what.

It might not be something I want to read; how will we know unless you query?
It might be something that doesn't fit what I do really well; how will we know unless you query?

It might make me scream bloody murder and hide under the covers (Score! Query for the Win!); how will we know unless you query?

Short point to this post: You are not wasting my time by querying even if it's not right for me. I want you to query. (I want you to query WELL which is the point of all this ranting on the blog and QueryShark.blogspot.com but even bad queries are better than none.)

You are my farm team. I need a bunch of you coming up the ranks to write great novels. I mean someone has to give the slithery Barbara Poelle a run for her money.

Stealing blithely from the blog posts of others

I was merrily tripping through the interwebs this morning and came across Jennifer Jackson's (as always) useful blog. (Well, came across implies I don't have it ensconced on my google reader: you bet I do!)

Jennifer has a post up about her query stats, but is also looking at revising her submission guidelines to be more helpful. I'm always willing to steal a good idea so I've blithely lifted her final paragraph, and posted it here.

(1) What is most helpful to you in submission guidelines?
(2) What is least?
(3) What questions about queries can be addressed in guidelines without making the specifics overly complicated?

I hope to find a balance between an overwhelming amount of information (which will only slow the process down) and providing enough information.

Thanks for any insight you can provide from the writer side of the equation.

Here are the places I list submission guidelines:

On the blog: how to send electronic query for a novel,
query letter checklist;

On my website: Query Information;

If you'd like to answer in the comment column, great. If you want to send an email, also fine.
Remember, short emails are hard to write. Long emails are hard to read. As in all things, finding the correct balance takes more than one revision.

Don't let the goggles fool you

Sean Ferrell is one of the funniest guys I know. His wicked sense of humor takes many forms, most noticeably a changing array of avatar photos on twitter. You've seen one already.

But don't let the goggles fool you. Sean Ferrell is a writer of extraordinary talent. You'll be able to see that for yourself when his debut novel NUMB is published on August 3. (You could even pre-order it now and beat the rush)

You can also see for yourself in his blog post today on writing.

One of the very best parts of this job is hearing writers talk about how their novels get better. I'm fascinated by that process. I think you will be too.