3.03.2006

So, you didn't send pages...shall we call for wits to knit?

Dear Miss Snark:

Please help me!!! I sent out 32 queries with a SASE but no sample pages!!! Worse yet, my query letter left alot to be desired (so does my synopsis and outline...but I'm working on them per your snarknicitious comments).

My only defense is that I did this long before I found out about the holy grail of snarkness. Never-the-less, I received almost all of them back with a form letter rejection, which was not a surprise after reading your blog.


What can I do to stop the blood loss? And does this mean I'm 32 steps closer to the 100 rejections that prove I'm a completely witless writer?


Also, I fear that I might sound like a nitwit asking this, but do I send the first five pages with the query or can I use five from another chapter?


P.S. By the way, a gin 'barrel' might be best for those long slush reading sessions. It's helped me through several bouts of nitwittery...cheers!


well, let's just say that "pail" doesn't start with P for petite, puny or pint. More like "Plentiful"


Now, to your query question.
You can rework and resend that query letter, and this time include the first five pages. Yes, they have to be from the first chapter..and if you have some sort of horrible prologue, forget sending that. Send 1-5 of chapter one.

None of those 32 got a chance to see your actual writing. They'll probably all say no again, but what the hell, why not. It's not against the law, it's not even nitwittery.

7 comments:

kathie said...

Good luck with sending those back out. Doing just the right thing seems so hard sometimes...and because you didn't want to.

kathie said...

OMG...totally missing a word in my comment above. Sorry to all who were subjected. Should read, "and not because...

Anonymous said...

You know, people do get responses if they write a good query. It happened to me--I got quite a few requests based on query alone.
But next round, I'll make the pot sweeter with sample pages.

Anonymous said...

Many agents only want the simple query and don't ask for anything else. If you send more, they might think you can't follow directions and throw everything out. It's a real dilemma. I don't think they can tell too much from even a good query, but if they don't like the query, they won't read the pages either? What is bugging me the most is the agents who ask for a query, a synopsis and three chapters right off the bat. I feel that's excessive and it's expensive and time consuming for the writers.

Mark said...

And for Christ's sake and yours, learn "alot" is not a word.

Miss Snark said...

You've never desired Alot? Wow, I did. With salt. She was a pillar of the community, but then she went to hell in a handbasket. Tragic really. I have a novel about it, maybe I should incorporate Christ with his sake drinking habits. Christ did drink sake right? I mean, that is what you meant? I get confused...alot

Anonymous said...

My apologies for using 'alot.' I'm afraid that I was anxious to get my question up on Miss Snark's blog. On the query issue, I tried to follow the instructions for each agent per the '2006 Guide to Literary Agents.' From now on, I will send 5 sample pages, but as for the 32 queries I did send, I'm probably sunk. Regrettably, agents that represent young adult-action adventure/fantasy seem to be in short supply and the 32 queries I mailed out went to a good portion of them. Thanks for all the comments and special thanks to Miss Snark...