Dear Miss Snark,
Could I attract an agent with a web page/blog instead of a query letter? Since many agents are now taking email queries, could this be the next progression? After all, I can pack a lot more pizazz into a web presence than a short letter, and blogs make it near trivial for anyone to do this. I've tried to set mine up so a potential agent can quickly get a sense of the book and decide if they want to see more. This was actually easier for me to do than write a query letter. I'm not so naive as to think they'll somehow stumble on my page, but couldn't I write them a nice, polite, best-selling-writer-ly email that essentially says, "Yo awesome agent! Check this out!"
I've only been reading your blog for a few weeks now, so if you're reaching for the cluegun could you please aim for the legs? I need my hands to type my next masterpiece.
Everyone who is all-fired hot for e-queries forgets that eventually you have to cough up actual pages. Pages. Not websites, not blogs, not electrons: pages. Those pages may come electronically but I assure you they get printed at my office, and probably at the editor's office.
A good web presence is never all text like a page. Even this blog, low-tech, visually plain, has a picture of the pooch, a top ten list, more than one color, a headline, links and some snarky bio. In other words it looks like a query as much as Killer Yapp looks like a horse. They both have four legs, two eyes and a wicked way with teeth but I bet you know which is which.
And look at the layout. Lots of short sentences. Lots of white space. There's a huge difference between a fun zippy webpage and a fun zippy book. Writing for the two SEPARATE DISTINCT forms requires two not-identical skill sets. Some of the worst websites in the world belong to writer's groups/writers/book people cause they think it's all about the writing.
You'll need a website but it will be for supplementals to your query, not in place of it.
If you wrote to me and said "hey check out this cool website" I wouldn't take you seriously, I wouldn't click on your website and I wouldn't be taking you on as a client.
IF you send a query and pages, as clearly requested, and you mention your nifty cool website in the body of the query, I'd look at it IF your writing interested me.
Just follow the damn directions.