While sorting my incoming mail yesterday afternoon I found a query letter from someone we'll just call Felix Buttonweazer to protect the guilty.
Felix sent a query and I opened it for a quick glance to make sure it wasn't for a screenplay (I've been getting a lot of those lately and I like to reply quickly cause I don't handle them at all.)
The query was addressed to everyone at FinePrint in the To: line. Of course that's not a good idea, but it wasn't enough to get Felix booted out of the query inbox.
Into the stack it went.
Five minutes later, a second query. For the same project. Also misaddressed. I deleted this cause email happens, and duplicates aren't always a sign of disorganization.
Five minutes later, a third. For a new book. Also mis-addressed. At this point I'm a tad impatient with Felix.
And then, a fourth. Incorrectly addressed, of course.
An hour later, a fifth.
That was when Felix and email address went to the filter. His emails now go to the archive unread.
Here's your takeaway: I rant and rave that I'm looking for good writing and that remains true. I am. But I'm only willing to work with people who set a high standard for themselves. That means you investigate how things work before the fact. How things work like query one agent here at a time, and one project at a time (and that means you wait to hear from me before you send a query on a second book.)
I do not apologize for making assumptions about your level of preparedness from the behavior you demonstrate when querying.
There are more publishable projects out there than there are publishing slots, and once you're at that level it pays to be prepared.
If you're reading the blog, if you've actually read and followed the submission guidelines you're going to be just fine. Don't worry.
If however you're thinking what the hell just go for it, well, ok, you're going straight there.