Tuesday, August 7, 2007

How to get your query letter discarded from the queue

Dear Ms. Reid,

Love, love, love.....did I say love.....the Query Shark site! I sent you my query letter and although I know you have many, many to review....so I don’t mean to bug you but I would really respect your feedback to my query letter....you are always spot on with your comments. The query letter was for (redacted) Even if you don’t post it on your site, even just having a little bit of your feedback would mean so much.

As the punch line in the movie Misery said............from your number 1 fan!


This is one fast way to NEVER get your query posted on the blog.

I get that you want feedback. I run this site to provide it. Under NO circumstances will I provide private coaching. Sending emails asking for that, even in the most laudatory terms and couched in compliments annoy the fins off me.

And honest to god, quoting Annie Wilkes can be interpreted in several different ways, none of them to your benefit, and at least one requiring a call to the gendarmes.

What you haven't stopped to realize is that IF your query gets posted, you get to revise. Which means an ongoing email communication with me.  Stepping over the line this early doesn't reassure me that you'll be someone I want to talk to on an ongoing basis. In other words, you've just given me a very potent reason to NEVER post your query.

If you didn't realize you've crossed the line, no harm no foul. But there is a line.  Stay on your side. The other side is shark-infested.

What to do if your query isn't picked for posting

Generally queries are posted within 90 days of receipt.

If yours isn't posted, it's not because it was "too awful" or "too boring" or any of those other things your malevolent subconscious is whispering.

I get more queries than I can post. That's all.

You can resend your entry. CAREFULLY study the queries posted after you sent yours.  Revise your query based on the things you learned from the more recent queries.  Send again.

Do NOT mark "resubmission" or "second try" or anything that says it's a second submission. Just send it like you did the first one.

You can do this as often as you want but if your query isn't selected after a couple tries, it probably won't be.

Thanks for being my chum.

How comments work

Comments are moderated.

Comments akin to "this sux" or "holy crap, this can only get better" are not posted.

Comments that give incorrect information are not posted.

QueryShark participants are here for suggestions that will help improve their queries. If your comment doesn't do that, it's not posted.

Comments that disagree with the Shark's opinion are usually posted. Exceptions are bonehead statements that annoy me.

A word about revisions to your QueryShark post

1. You can send revisions after your query is posted, but you must wait a week to do so.

2. Your revised query will be posted on my schedule. I will try to post a note saying your query is down for revisions.

3. There's a limit to how many revisions I'll do, particularly if you aren't getting better.

4. If you write to ask when your revisions will be posted I'll reply. It can take awhile; this isn't even my hobby let alone my job.

5. If you post a comment on another entry asking about your revisions; if you send an email scolding me for being slow, I will remove the entire post and the revisions.