I love Sara's tips (agent with Nelson Literary Agency) on query letter submissions, so here is her November tip. I hope you aspiring authors/authors learn as much as I do from her.
TIPS FROM THE SLUSH PILE by Sara Megibow Happy Thanksgiving!
I’ve been reading the query inbox for almost four years now. Hard to believe isn’t it? In that time, there is one trend that I can count on - the days right after any holiday tend to see a huge influx of query letter submissions. That’s exciting — it means there are tons of great projects on their way to my desk in the next two months! Really, it also means that writers are taking their holiday time to polish up their manuscripts, put together their agent list, and submit their work.
So, with that in mind, here’s my radical query letter suggestion for the month. Try preparing two or three different versions of your query letter. Maybe one has a lighter tone to it, maybe one includes more detail on the plot. Spend some time getting query letter help where you can (I tend to recommend evileditor.blogspot.com). Then, send the most compelling version to your top ten agents. If you are getting 2-3 requests for sample pages per 10 submissions, GREAT! If not, send version two of the query letter to your next ten top agents. See where I’m going with this? It’s a way to gauge what works best for your story.
Now, here’s the super secret insider tip that makes this exercise really worth it. If you’re not getting requests for sample pages from version one or version two — pull out version three and resubmit it to some of your top agents again. Resist the temptation to open your resubmission with, “I submitted this project to you a month ago, but I’ve revised my query letter and I would like to submit it again.” Simply resubmit it as if it were the first time.
Trust me, with 200 query letters coming in per day, I’m not likely to remember your first query letter. Also, it’s totally professional and appropriate to approach us again if it took that extra step to perfect your craft.Happy Holidays! If you choose to use the holiday breaks to write, then I look forward to seeing your work in 2010!
Thanks for allowing me to post this Sara.......and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!! Gobble Gobble...
Not An Angel, coming out soon with The Wild Rose Press