Define "pragmatic" then we'll talk

Dear Miss Snark,
Maybe this only works if you have already published several novels and held down a couple of high profile jobs in the entertainment industry, but lately my query has been 95% credits, with only the last line mentioning my new novel.

So far I’ve been getting about a 50% “Let’s see the book” response rate from agents (and 49% no reply). Given the obstacles you’ve just showcased with query letters and opening pages, do you see any reason for me to return to the standard synopsis and first five pages approach?

I'm not arguing with success, why would you?


Anonymous said...

Let me see.
1. The whole point of sending a query is to get the agent to read your book.

2. You now have agents (more than 1?) reading your book.

If it doesn't lead to representation then I guess all you can say is either the book does not deliver what the query promised OR the agents "did not fall in love with your book."
What was your question again?

Anonymous said...

Oh, to have problems like this. sigh.

Anonymous said...

You could cut it down to the most relevant credits, but if you get a 50% positive response and a 1% negative (with 49% still out there), I say it works good enough not to change it.

Anonymous said...

Suppose somebody had an agent 8 years ago, for six months, with no results (other than 9 rejections.) Does a new potential agent need to hear about that?

Anonymous said...

About 50% of the agents I queried requested partials or fulls. And 95% of my query was about my novel because I have only two piddly-ass short story credits.

I thought I'd mention this in case anyone thinks they need a boatload of credits to get agent interest.

Anonymous said...

Okay. You haven't hit any of the obstacles Miss Snark has showcased. You have hit on an approach that is working. Why oh why would you even bother to ask ANYONE, never mind Miss Snark, if you should change your approach??? When Miss Snark closes up shop, it will be YOUR fault. Thanks a lot.

Feisty said...

Anonymous: LOL on the 95%. You go!

There are people who are good at breaking the rules and who do quite well at it. This is not for everyone.