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Friday Thought for the Day

I’ve been requesting a lot of proposals, which means my reading list is growing, which means a greater workload, which means I’m looking for a reason to reject your query. Don’t give me that reason.


Category: Blog



  1. I'm guessing that this isn't the best time to be sending out queries. I'm waiting on a reply from a partial request from someone. Guess I will do more writing while I am waiting. Think I will wait a month if I get a negative reply.

  2. How come I can't write:

    'The industry is struggling. Advances are lower. Agent cuts are therefore lower. Don;t get snarky and give me a reason to pick another one' without being an a-hole?

    Ok I'm being a little over the top, but really that's how some of these agent complaints come across.

    We all need each other here. Can he skip the snark?

  3. Ms. Trite says:
    When the beleaguered become overwhelmed ‘tis best to serve Baileys instead of Mash Whiskey. People fail to return when nasty is served…unless what one wants…is an empty table.

  4. I find no nastiness or snark in Jessica's kind reminder about writing an effective query. We all know agents naturally look for a reason to reject a query and Jessica is no different. That's just how it works. No sugar-coating the truth is necessary, IMO.

  5. Crap! I queried you before checking in with your blog today! How about this: If our query irritated you, send a form rejection. If it didn't irritate you, if you just aren't in love with our premise, then somehow fit in the word "monkey" in the rejection letter…

  6. There's no bitterness in this at all. But if you're going to start your query by telling me your book isn't the best, that it's not finished, that you need an edit or that all other books in the industry suck then you've given me a reason to reject.

    Deep breath everyone. In all likelihood if you're reading blogs you aren't "giving" agents a reason to reject.

    BTW there's no snark here. Just fact.


  7. Frankly, I don't understand why you would necessarily reject the next blockbuster just because an author has an ego problem ('all other books suck' etc), or because someone says their book 'needs an edit.' You know very well they all do.

    These sorts of poorly thought out rejection lists harm an agent's credibility.

  8. Anon 4:29 PM – I don't agree.

    That's like requiring an agent to disregard the only "face" she (or he) has seen.

    Because it's not only the book an agent has to decide on, it's the author too. So if I'm an agent, and I have two fantastic queries in my email queue, you'd better believe I'm going to pick the one who's author appears more knowledgable and without an ego, because I'm going to have to help MAKE this book a blockbuster.

    I want at least a clue that this author will (a) be willing to work WITH me and (b) have realistic expectations of what a writing career looks like

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