"if it's good news, it must be someone else's"

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

374. the query letter

if you have a friend who is trying to find an agent or publisher for her or his first novel, sneak up behind them and whisper, query letter!
but be sure to have a pair of those electric shock paddles for the heart nearby before you let the fun begin.

as a matter of definition, the query letter is a one page sales pitch to those who publish that the unpublished agonizingly write, sometimes requiring more time and energy than the effort to write the book they are trying to print.
and as if that isn’t painful enough, the ensuing avalanche of boiler plate reject letters pretty much seals the deal.

no wonder the e-book industry is becoming e-normous—it's a prozac free holiday by comparison (and unfortunately pretty much income free as well).

ah, the query letter.
the good news is, if humility and rejection are your aspirations, well then, seeking publication can be a lucrative endeavor.

(for a more in depth, and hopefully, more humorous look at the world of the unpublished, check under “big chunks from bob” for “eight lessons for the unpublished”)


Keli said...

I've learned that I can write a query letter as some of mine have generated favorable responses. But...after that, alas, thus far, I've stumbled and fallen. I get up, brush myself off and begin again. I figure it's a numbers game. Sooner or later....

bob said...


hang in there. if you get responses, that is a very good indicator that your project is getting attention or they wouldn't take the time to respond. in your case, i would say it is a very good numbers game!

best of luck.