Disclaimer: If you don’t appreciate snark this is not the post for you.
- Not sending requested material. If you aren’t ready to send your manuscript to an agent you aren’t ready to query. In fact, if you do not have a full manuscript and a synopsis written, edited, and fully revised you are not ready to query. I am not reading queries for fun, I am reading queries because I’m in search of great books and new authors to represent. Don’t waste my time if you’re not ready.
- Seeking a critique partner, not an agent. Most agents will give you revisions and work with you to make the book saleable, but no agent is going to go into an agreement with an author who says straight off the top that the book needs work. If you think the book needs work see #1. You aren’t ready to submit.
- Writing a book because everything else stinks. The best way to woo someone is always by telling them that every other author and book they proudly represent are terrible. Remember, all those books you are belittling are our bread and butter and pride and joy.
- Pre-Queries. Query or don’t query, but don’t pre-query. The purpose of a query is to find out if an agent is right for your book so tweeting or emailing an agent to ask if you should query about your romantic suspense makes no sense. Just query the damn book and quit wasting everyone’s time for fear you’ll be wasting someone’s time.
- Refusing to follow guidelines. Since I can understand that you are far too busy and important to use my submission form on query manager, I’m sure you’ll understand that I’m far too busy and important to deal with authors who think they are too good for my query manager submission form.
And if the blog post wasn’t enough, you can watch my video thoughts on this very same subject.