Things You Don’t Need to Share in Your Query

It’s easy to find information on what your query should contain. You should always include the title, genre, a short bio and of course the blurb. What is harder to find is information on what a query doesn’t need. So let me put together a short list for you.

You’re an avid reader: I don’t need to know how avid or voracious a reader you are. Most of us in publishing are. It’s a given.

At what age you started writing: When I was in third grade I desperately wanted to be a writer and I thought I was pretty good. My teacher used to hand out pictures and have us write a story based on the picture. It was one of my favorite things and I did always get a good grade. Today, some many years later, that has no correlation with whether or not I can write a novel (I can’t).

How long it took you to write the book: This could be a real detriment no matter how long it took you. If you’re a debut author and the book took you years to write, most agents are going to assume you can’t write quickly enough to build a career. If it took you only a few months, we’re going to wonder if it’s really been edited. Just leave any information on your writing time off.

I’m sure there are more, but these are the few that popped up in my inbox recently.

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6 comments

  1. This is actually very helpful, because sometimes writing a query letter feels like trying to compose a personal ad… So, just remember to KISS your query letter!

    Keep It Succinct Sweetheart!

  2. I’ve also read you shouldn’t say how your Mum, crit group or cat loved the book.

    Hard enough to write what has to go in without adding more (plus those extra things take up word space!).

  3. I’ve come across authors a few times very proud of having taken 10 or even 15 years to write a book. I’ve always wanted to ask if that is from starting and there were long periods of no writing, or if it is a continuous daily or weekly work in progress.

    I can understand a longer writing time for a first book. There is much to be learnt. That is then polished and added to but not relearnt, in theory. Having said that, if you’re then querying an agent then I think you have to make the decision making writing your full-time work, as much as other jobs allow.

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