My queries piled up in the last few weeks so I spent an hour reading them last Friday morning. (Two requested fulls out of fifty or so, for those of you torturing yourselves with stats.)
All too frequently I'd get a reply along the lines of "well, if you didn't want that, how about this."
And of course, what followed wasn't a real query. Sometimes it was just a line or two with pages included, or maybe just a paragraph.
I can't tell you how annoying that is. Maybe this will help.
Just because I'm replying to a query does not mean you get to avoid actually writing the next one.
You write a real query every SINGLE time you want me to consider reading a project.
No half-baked, after thought, second hand prose. NO NO NO.
My answer is always no.
First, I've just told you no so I remember that. You want to give yourself some time here so when I get the query for that next book, my first thought isn't "oh yea, that's the guy I just said no to."
Second, if you reply to a query you've got the wrong subject line most often. And you've got RE: whatever that wrong subject line is. I think I've got a reply, not a query. Which means I'm skimming at BEST and tossing in the trash unread at worst.
Third, it's ineffective. I'm not MORE likely to consider your work at this moment. I'm less. That's NOT something you want.
A real query every single time, no matter what. No exceptions. NONE.