Monday, November 01, 2021

The sounds of silence

These are the reasons your queries from August-October got a deafening round of silence rather than a reply

1. Attachments (15)
I don't open or read attachments.  I can't reply that it's right (or not right) for me if I HAVE NOT READ IT.

2. Not finished (5)
I don't request anything that isn't finished. For fiction that means the novel. For non-fiction that means the proposal. Included here are the emails that asked if I'd like to read a query in a certain category. (just query)

3. Querying for multiple books (3)

I only consider one book at a time.

4. No story (3)
If your query is about how famous you are or what your writing journey was or about the situation you want to fix, I don't care.  Right now I only care about the story you want to tell. I can't tell you if I want (or don't want) to read it I you don't tell me what it is.

5. Not the author (1)
I don't respond to queries sent by people who aren't the author. If you're too important or busy to ask me to read your query, I'm too unimportant to be your agent.

6. Jpgs of queries (1)
This might be my favorite example of a subtle indicator of someone I do NOT want to work with. They sent a query letter, but as a jpg. And a blurry one at that. If I can't read it, I can't respond.

7. Huh? (2)
So convoluted I couldn't figure out what the topic was, let alone the story. Included in this are the queries that send links rather than use words.

8. "I can't be bothered" (2)
People who send emails that say "just read this and let me know if you want more."

There's a reason I ask that you include a query letter. If you don't want to do it, ok. I don't want to respond.

Everyone reading this blog is probably savvy enough to avoid these mistakes.

Even a modicum of research will keep you on the right path. If you're worried about making these kinds of mistakes, you won't. 

Any questions?


The Noise In Space said...

I'd like to sit down and have a drink with JPG Querier. The inside of that brain must be fascinating.

Kitty said...

After reading this list all I can say is words fail me.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

why would you turn your query into jpg? That is weird. This is good to know stuff even if it is a reminder. Especially for those of us who go stark raving mad from time to time.

I came VERY close to avoiding the query trenches again but alas, I will be rejoining the suffering of that Carkoonian infested torment come 2022. One more rewrite with the x number of revisions that come with it. Or so I tell myself.

I think I might suck at this writing thing but I just can't give it up. I have stories to tell even if it is only my pug that enjoys them. But I came so close to getting over that first hurdle of getting an agent. So very close. It should have been encouraging but instead sent me spiraling into a momentary despair.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Here’s an auto-reply you can use….
So ya wanna be a wryta.,,,hahahaha

smoketree said...

My favourite example of tech cluelessness was in response to a Word document form that I had sent to be filled out. In response, one person printed the form, typed out the answers in a separate document and printed that, painstakingly cut out the answers one word at a time, glued them onto the printed form, then scanned the form and emailed it back to me. It felt like receiving the world's most tedious ransom note.

John Davis Frain said...

The sound of silence in the publishing industry can be very loud, but only if one chooses to listen.

Karen McCoy said...

Um. Wow? I am reminded of certain patron chat interactions in the library world. The person who typed their password *into the chat* instead of the library's web form (good thing I am not a hacker?). Also, very wise words from Frain. I smell a caption nom?

Craig F said...

Hello Darkness, my old friend

I've come to talk with you again

Because a vision softly creeping

Left it's seed while I was sleeping

And the story that grew

Left me weeping

I knew that it was a world beater

So I spent some time to learn the protocol

So may an agent would get the message

Maybe someday it will happen.

AJ Blythe said...

Knowing there are queriers out there like those listed gives me hope that one day mine will have to stand out from the crowd, right? *scratching head*

Will MacPhail said...

I thought I was struggling with my query. I'm a rock star compared to these examples. I love these posts, it's so interesting and I'd love to know the thought process of these people.