An agent recently posted that “agents get tons of flip or wacky query letters, and we toss them all.”
How do you mark the difference between a query that’s “flip” or “wacky,” and one that’s written to introduce a book with comedic elements?
Take the proposal below--would it be interpreted as adequate to sell the tone of the book, or jettisoned as flippant by an impatient agent?
(actual query here, but redacted)
It seems easy to dismiss the above query as non-serious or adolescent, but how else could we convey the humorous tone of our project while keeping a serious, respectful voice worthy of the industry?
Again, we can’t thank you enough for your time. We know you're extremely busy.
You can tell when your middle-grader is lying through her teeth, right?
Or your spouse isn't coming clean about why the laundry got left in the washer?
Sure you do.
You've had YEARS of experience sorting the truth from the guff.
Same with agents.
If you write a genuine query about a comedic book, you'll be fine.
The people who write joke or wacky queries are either so ill informed they make howler mistakes, or they're trying too hard to be funny.
The only time I was taken in by a joke query was when one of my former minions, now an industry star, sent me a query for a book about Time Goblins. I regret that it was not real to this day.