Monday, April 27, 2009

Stupid Author Tricks

Now that I'm facing the staggering process of querying, I feel like I'm not above posting a few mistakes I've made in previous query-fishing.  Let this serve as a cautionary tale... please do not make the same mistakes I have!

For good measure, I have included a few mistakes that other author friends have made.  Try to spot which ones are mine!
  1. Addressing a query to "Mr. Greenleaf" when the agent is a Ms or Mrs.
  2. Expounding at length about the plot of a novel, without remembering to include the title.
  3. Discussing an agent's blog or website in the query letter.  To another agent.
  4. Including a space for a word count of the novel, without actually adding said word count.
  5. Querying the same agent twice in two weeks.
  6. Signing off on an email with your pen name that doesn't match the name the email is registered to.
  7. Querying the wrong agent entirely.
  8. Sending a query letter for a novel to an agency that only represents screenplays.
  9. Forgetting to update the date on your query letter.
  10. Not researching your title to ensure something has not been published under it.
  11. Misspelling the word "query".
All of these can be fixed by a little proofreading, or a simple Google search.  Consider yourself warned... these are simple mistakes, and they can seriously mean the difference between your query being selected for a partial and your query being used to line a birdcage.

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