A writer friend of mine writes adult historical fiction and has recently connected with an ex-literary agent who has offered to work with her on her query letter for $1,000.00. Honestly, I think it's nuts. My friend is a seasoned writer, highly educated, and has a firm grasp of her manuscript, query letter, synopsis, etc. She is tempted by the offer because she's been unsuccessful in garnering an agent's interest and feels this money may be well spent.
So my question is: Does this sound reasonable and fair to you? Any advice you can give would be most appreciated. As you know, the path to publication for an author is murky at best, and can sometimes cloud our judgment.
Wow, if I'd known giving advice on query letters garnered a thousand bucks a pop, think of all the dough I could have gotten from this! What are we up to now? 261?
Of course I think this is nuts. But I'm betting Miss X gets a bunch of people giving her money. She probably has to fend them off.
It's so so so beguiling to think the only thing standing between you and YES is a measly thousand dollars and The Secret Sauce of Acceptance.
I'm not going to rant too much about Miss X because if she's an ex-agent it's clear that she didn't make enough deals to keep her business afloat and is now busy making money the old fashioned way: snake oil. I feel sorry for someone who has failed at a business and has to become a literary busker.
Getting advice on your query is a good thing. Paying for it is not the problem. Paying THAT MUCH for it, and getting ONE person's opinion is.
Your writer friend is MUCH better off to use that spare thousand she's got lying around in her sock drawer to attend a writing conference (see yesterday's post) and talk to SEVERAL agents, and hit a workshop or two.
Writers who are butting up against the glacial embrace of rejection will often try everything and anything to melt the ice. Paying this much and getting an opinion won't kill you but it's NOT the most efficient use of your resources (neither time nor money.)
I'll bet you twenty bucks and a shark bite that she does it anyway though.