I feel like agents (on Twitter and otherwise) love to focus on the mistakes authors make that lead to rejection. And according to hashtags like #100Queries there are a lot.
I’d like to spin this conversation in another direction. I’d like to focus on those mistakes you’ve made, will likely make, and everyone makes and reassure you that, I don’t care. Mistakes happen and, to be honest, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to having done each and every one of these things in my own submissions at some time or another.
- Calling an agent by the wrong name. Half the time I don’t even read the Dear Super Agent: line in the query so half the time I won’t even notice. Bonus points though if you address it to the wrong agent and I can see how my competition is.
- Sending the wrong manuscript. It happens. We grab the wrong file. For agents who use Query Manager, it’s an easy fix. Simply go back and upload the correct file.
- Typos. Have you ever read this blog? Typos happen. All the time.
- Querying too early. You realize later, as you’ve learned so much more, that you had no right to query when you did. You weren’t ready and either was your book. So now you know. No biggie. Get yourself and your query into shape and get back out there.
- You query the same agent twice for the same book. No matter how careful our records we sometimes get excited and forget that agent already has or had our query or our submission. Okay. Mistakes happen. No biggie. In fact, maybe she’ll fall in love the second time.