Sunday, November 13, 2011

Just a reminder

I saw this tweet this morning: "Dear God, Please don't ever let me click a link from Query Shark and find my query letter there. Amen."

I immediately replied, and I'm posting this here, to remind everyone that QueryShark is entirely voluntary. Every letter here was sent to the QueryShark, not to my incoming queries at FPLM.

I do not ever post letters without the author's permission, and if they want the letters removed, I do that too.

I take this pretty seriously because I value the trust you show by letting me critique your work publically to help not just you but LOTS of other writers.

I take it so seriously that even if someone jokes around about finding themselves on QueryShark, I don't treat it as a joke.

And if I ever make a mistake (and I can't see how it could happen...but it never hurts to be prepared) I have one last failsafe mechanism in place: when I post the query, I also send the link to the author as it goes up.

So, back to our regularly scheduled gnawing.

22 comments:

Sera Phyn said...

I always thought those rules and standard were pretty clear, but misinterpretation happens, I guess. They should also keep in mind how awesome it is of you to donate your time to helping out authors that aren't even coming to you as potential clients. So just in case you don't hear it often enough, THANK YOU. :)

Sara J. Henry said...

Maybe this Tweeter sleepwalks and is afraid he/she emailed a query to Query Shark whilst asleep ...

S.P. Bowers said...

I hope people can understand how awesome this website is. Thank you for helping us to improve our queries.

AA said...

That's strange. It suggests seeing your query here would be a bad thing. In reality, getting the query ready for an agent to look at is important. I see it as a valuable service.

Terry Towery said...

Ha. I click on the link and hope it *is* my query.

And like others here have said, thank you, Janet, for all you do for writers. Seriously. I met you last year at the Writer's Digest conference in New York and, yes, you are scary in person, but it's nice to know that underneath that tough exterior you are a real pussycat.

Um, right?

Uma said...

QS lets you be anonymous, so when you become rich and famous, someone who googles you is unlikely to stumble upon your query letter and discover how badly written it was.

IsaiahC said...

So, instead, their tweet has been devoured by the Query Shark. Oh, how I love irony.

Ruth Madison said...

That is a relief to know! I didn't realize that. I just read it for fun, so I hadn't looked closely at the guidelines.

Sera Phyn said...

Lol! Very good point, Isaiah. Obviously didn't think this one through at all, did they?

Fiona Paul said...

Maybe this was a case of simutaneous wanting and not wanting, like "Oh, God, I'm at QT buying a Slushee and my crush just walked in and please please don't let him see me and say something...unless of course he LIKES me, but no, what are the chances of that? Zero. No, less than zero. Think I will just hide here behind this display of windshield wiper fluid until he goes away..."

Or maybe this poor soul posted a query and then did more research and realized his/her query broke all the Shark's rules and was for-sure going to get eviscerated.

Definitely a reminder of the power of twitter.

C.G.Matteo said...

Funny. I don't pray, but if I did it would go something like this: "Dear God, PLEASE let me click a link and find my query letter on Query Shark!" C.G. Matteo author of the YA Fantasy - THOUGHTS TO DIE FOR.

Uma said...

@QS, you can't control what other people say/post about you, these justifications are a waste of time because some people will always misunderstand your motives, no matter how noble (and how clear) they might be. Don't attempt to cure their schizophrenia. They will find something else to be suspicious about.

John Blackport said...

What?

So now, you're not only cashing in on Query Shark --- you're also hacking into the Draft folders of the e-mail accounts of unsuspecting people, to haul their unpolished queries out for public humiliation! For the FUN of it!

Shame on you! Is there no stopping you, you ... you fiend??

It's a shame there's so many misconceptions about this site. It offers more valuable lessons than a lot of courses that cost money. As a free source ... it's tough to beat.

trudymorgancole said...

I'm pretty sure they have you confused with Slush Pile Hell. I used to keep telling my friend that my worst nightmare was to click on SPH and find my query there, and she said if you're even worried about that, that alone proves it's never going to happen.

Chris said...

The service you provide here is priceless. I would LOVE to be featured some day. It would be an honor. I guess people don't understand the difference between "tough love critic" and "mocking asshole".

Julie said...

maybe she meant it as a joke.

Patrick O'Leary said...

I'll side with those that wish they would be picked to be here. My query wasn't selected for posting, but I know I learned so much from reading all the way through the archives here that my query was much better for it. Thank you QS for all the wonderful advice you give.

And thanks to all the chum that are lucky enough to be chosen. Even the ones that are painful to read help teach the rest of us as well. Because I know I was doing some pretty cringe-worthy things myself in my original query. And seeing others doing them here helps me realize I'm not alone, and shows me how to fix it.

Cheryl said...

Obviously, someone hasn't been in the game too long. You know. Kind of like those newbies who always put "fiction novel" into queries.

madisonwoods said...

The letters here have been immensely beneficial to me. Although on some occasions I have winced on behalf of the author, I would never think poorly of anyone's efforts. Mine will hopefully show up soon for the awesome feedback you give.

HowardC said...

Query Shark said:

"I take this pretty seriously because I value the trust you show by letting me critique your work publically to help not just you but LOTS of other writers."

Then, two paragraphs later:

"And if I ever make a mistake (and I can't see how it could happen...but it never hurts to be prepared)... "

Goodness! Have I fallen into a novel in progress with a snarky, er, sharky literary agent as protagonist? If so, you have my permission to use me as the antagonist...

Bruce Harrison said...

Now you've confused me again. My fault, I'm sure; however . . .

You say, ". . .if they want the letters removed, I do that too."

Segway to "Checklist for submitting work to the Shark,", to wit: Rule #9, and I quote:

"By submitting this query, I agree it may be posted and critiqued on the QueryShark blog and included in the archives for the life of the blog."

Has Rule #9 been rescinded, and I somehow missed it in my perusal of EVERY ONE of the posted queries?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

stopdropreload said...

Bruce - haven't read the rest of the blog, have we? Janet changed the rules some time after this post because too many people asked for their queries to be pulled the second they got their critique.

Considering you're posting in 2013, and you claimed to have read "EVERY ONE" of the posts and thus would have seen discussion of the issue, I find your confusion puzzling.