I’ll be pinning this list up on the bulletin board above my computer, and re-reading it every time I revise.
- Query is for a book in a genre I don’t represent.
- Query is for a vampire book. Come back in 3-5 years.
- Query letter is addressed to “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern.”
- Query letter is addressed to “Dear Agent.” My name is not Agent.
- Query letter is not addressed at all. It just begins, “Hi!”
- Query letter is addressed to Kristin Nelson. (This is not a problem if you’re actually sending your query letter to Kristin Nelson.)
- Query letter is 2 pages long.
- Query opens with a rhetorical question.
- Query opens with a tagline.
- Author has spent too much time constructing a one-sentence hook and not enough building the rest of the query.
- By the end of the query, I’ve learned more about the author than I have about the book. (Does not apply to nonfiction.)
- I can see that you’ve copied 100 other agents…
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