I hate writing query letters. Detest. Loathe. I can do it, mind you, just I'd much rather be working on my next story or sticking needles in my eyes. Is there ever a time when we (specifically, fiction writers) no longer have to bother with query letters?
For instance, if I have an agent who has sold a previous book of mine, do I have to hit her with a query before forwarding my new masterpiece? Or a situation I'm currently in: I don't have an agent, but I have a publishing house that published a book of mine in 2006 (didn't do great, but made *some* money). Do I have to query them before sending my newest manuscript? And if so, does it have to be the standard query letter or can I just send something brief asking if
they'd like to check out my new novel?
I have more than a dozen writers working on next projects right at this very moment. They just tell me what they're working on in pretty general terms. It's not a query because it's a certainty I'm going to read their work. Query implies a question of whether I will read it, and thus requires some persuasive reasons be included (thus, 'wanna read my next novel' is not a query but a lazy ass shirking of your persuasive responsibilities).
You're much more likely to need a query letter with a publisher but it certainly won't be the same form as what an unpublished writer would send. They know you, they know your work.
If writing query letters makes you grumpy, adjust your attitude. Don't think of it as asking me for my attention. Think of it as performing introductions. You know I'm looking for good work. Introduce your good work in language that is enticing.
You're a writer. Look on query letters as a place to strut your stuff. If you keep thinking how much you hate query letters, you'll stop writing them, or do a crap job with them, and that, that is a very very bad thing.