11.08.2006

Birth of the Crapometer

Dear Miss Snark:

Agent Query says, "Do NOT include sample chapters of your novel with your query UNLESS an agent's submission guidelines specifically SAY to include sample pages with your snail mail query. If you really feel compelled to show an agent your writing style along with your query letter, include only the first 5 pages of your novel." I'm not trying to just provoke a battle of experts here, but what do you (or most agents) think of that? If you were to recieve five pages with a query, would you read them? Ignore them? Shred the whole package and send it back in the SASE?


I always read pages unless the cover letter demonstrates a clear and compelling case not to. Most people can't write a decent query letter to save their lives. In fact, it was this assertion that led to the Birth of the Crapometer.

AQ is correct. Do NOT send chapters. We'll ask if we want them. Five pages max. Six if it means not cutting off a sentence.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

This person asked the exact verbatim question to Rejecter today..I thought is sounded familiar.

Dave Kuzminski said...

Hopefully the author doesn't write 500+ word sentences like some of Hemmingway's.

LadyBronco said...

Anonymous...I saw that too!
Methinks that your emailer, Miss Sanrk, is not content with the answer they got.
Hmmm...

Clarice Snarkling said...

Hemingway? I think you mean Faulkner, Dave K. One of his short stories, "The Jail," is composed of two sentences -- one is one line long, and the other spans thirty pages.

Anonymous said...

No way it's Hemingway. He wrote a 6-word short story: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

Anonymous said...

Please don't swing the nitwit noodle too hard...Is 'cover letter' separate from 'query letter'? If I am incuding 5 pages am I also sending 2 letters - a 'cover' and a 'query'? I know I'm obsessing...

wonderer said...

According to Miss Snark, 'cover letter' means the first page only; 'query letter' means the first page plus your 5-page sample.

a writer said...

A mainstay of these sorts of message boards -- the writer goes around asking questions of various industry experts, then goes to another board and says, 'Expert A says this, but you say that. Who is right? Why don't you do it like Expert A? Why do you (or Expert A) suck? Why can't you agree? Why are you making it so hard on me?'

Whine whine whine.

Suck it up and realize that if everyone did business the exat same way, your firsst rejection would also be your last. Be GLAD they don't always agree.