Some things I was surprised to read in
the incoming queries this month
(1) I have enclosed Chapter 1 (40129 words)
The problem: if one chapter is 40K, how long is the book?
(2) After looking over your interests on the website, I believe this is a good fit ... a commercial YA
The problem: I don't take on YA, commercial or otherwise. I don't mind if you query for it, you can query me for anything, but if you think you saw I'm looking for it, it makes me wonder who you really meant to query.
(3) Before I paste my book’s information I want to tell you how much I enjoy Thomas Perry
The problem: I like Thomas Perry too, but he's not my client. A cursory google search of my name may turn up something with his name too. If you don't look any further, you won't see I was only talking about him. Make SURE you cross check this kind of thing.
(4) I'm looking for a rep for my manuscript, (Title). I think you'd be a good fit given your stated interest in original and distinctive literary YA horror.
The problem: I'm not looking for YA horror, and since you've linked to my PM page, I'm wondering why you think so.
(5) It is amazing to know that Jet Reid literary Agency remains an evolving voice in bringing new and established authors to the curious minds of their future readers.
The problem: JRLA is two years old.
I've been an agent longer than that, but JRLA itself is a new kid on the block. Effusive praise is bad enough, but effusive praise that is an #epicfail is just painful
(6) Dear Sir
The problem: I'm not a Sir.
(7) I’ve taken note of your interest in narrative nonfiction, so I wanted to reach out with my novel. Complete at approximately 106,000 words, (title) is a nonfiction thriller and a sequel to (other title) a memoir.
The problem: a novel cannot be a non-fiction thriller. Not now, not ever.
Most of these mistakes are just carelessness.
We all make those kinds of mistakes.
I'm glad to have two blog readers who regularly help keep the blog typo free.
BUT if you're querying, that's not the time to be careless.
I want to work with writers who bleed over sentences and paragraphs.
I even like it when writers who sent me fulls I've requested email a couple weeks later with "Hey Shark, I've fixed some things, can I send you the revised, updated, improved version?"
Answer: heck yes.