Question from Loralie:
Thank you for taking the time to do this! I have a question that’s been gnawing at me a little bit, and I haven’t been able to find many opinions on it. Say an agent requested material, either from a query, a conference pitch session, or an online contest, but ultimately passed on the novel with a form letter (the standard, polite, this just wasn’t for me).
If a writer queries that same agent again with a different project, is it appropriate to mention that first interaction? “I queried you six months ago with Fiction Novel 52B, which you ultimately passed on.” Or is it better to just leave the mention out?
Firstly, there is no such thing as a fiction novel. A novel is inherently fiction. Sorry, had to get that off my chest.
And now to your question…It is okay to re-query an agent; however, you must make sure you have either incorporated the feedback that the agent gave you or have drastically revised your book. There is no point in wasting anyone’s time–yours for querying an agent that is very unlikely to request more or offer representation and the agent’s for looking at something they’ve already seen.
And yes, mention that you’ve already submitted to them especially if they already requested material because it will jog their memory. A few of you asked this question so I can tell it is weighing on your minds. If you have more questions ask them in the comments below.
Question from Marc:
There is a lot of contradiction online about the best way to start a query letter. Some say start with an introduction about yourself, others say start with your hook and move bio and reasons for selecting that particular agent to the last paragraph. What are your thoughts?
Personally, I don’t like the author introduction at the beginning. I prefer it at the end. I firstly want to know about your book (the hook), then a brief synopsis (one paragraph), followed lastly by the author bio. I feel that often writers get so tied up with placing themselves in the work (telling agents their age, their occupation etc.) that it takes away from the primary goal of the query: to get an agent to request more material.
Most importantly: follow agency submission instructions. If you are submitting a query to P.S. Literary please follow our query guidelines.
Inspired by Bree Ogden’s Ask The Agent blog on the LitReactor site, this week I’ll leave my blog open to questions from the field! What do you want to know about publishing, submissions, query letters, manuscripts, proposals, or other tips?
Next week I’ll select key questions and share my answers to them on the blog.
Social media not only has the ability to connect like-minded readers, but help authors find their online genre niches and build long-term, engaging relationships with their readers. Below I have highlighted tips for social media beginner and intermediate authors who are looking to partake in this important brand building task.
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