While reading through some queries I very quickly developed a list of things that turn me off immediately. The book might be great, but these are signs that it’s a relationship that just won’t work:
- Don’t rant about how readers are no longer buying books in your particular genre because they all stink, but then tell me how you’re determined to change that. In case you’ve forgotten, I represent the authors you’ve just dissed.
- Don’t go on and on about your shortcomings. I don’t care that you’ve never been published before, that you have no real writing history, or that this is your first book. Of course, now that it’s all I know about you, I care.
- Don’t spend more time telling me every detail about how long it took you to write the book than you do telling me about the book itself. I don’t care, but now I worry that it will also take you six years to write your next book.
- I will not sign any sort of confidentiality clause, especially when you won’t even tell me what I’m signing it about.
- Don’t use the term “chick lit.” This term is dead and, at least at this time, is a turn-off to agents and editors.