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Old 02-01-2013, 08:06 AM   #1
Ravenheart
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Question Equery Question

Shoot me for asking what I'm sure is a really dumb question. If you're writing a query and it's an agent that wants email, only email, which I actually prefer... Do you do the whole formal letter bit like you would if mailing it in?

I ask because honestly I think if I ever had someone email me and it included my address, their address, and the date inside the body of the email in standard formal letter format I'd think it a little odd. Or do you simply do:

Subject Line: Query - [NAME OF YOUR BOOK - YOUR NAME]

Dear [Insert Agent Name Here]:

blah, blah, blah... NOT THAT I'M REALLY GOING TO SAY BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

Sincerely,



[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[Your Phone Number]

No need to add your email because they already have it.

Why add a date to it because that comes up automatically in their inbox...

Do I have my thinking correct or should it be more formal than that?

"He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever."
-Chinese Proverb
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:10 AM   #2
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When I was querying, I started with "Dear [awesome agent]:" and went from there. I would include full contact information after signing my name. (I included my email at the bottom just for the agent's convenience, but they'd likely just hit reply anyway.)

But I wouldn't start the query with the address parts, and I wouldn't include the date, since the email is already date- and time-stamped.

I hope this helps!
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:11 AM   #3
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Your instincts are correct -- no business format.

This is perfect:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenheart View Post
Subject Line: Query - [NAME OF YOUR BOOK - YOUR NAME]

Dear [Insert Agent Name Here]:

blah, blah, blah... NOT THAT I'M REALLY GOING TO SAY BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

Sincerely,



[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[Your Phone Number]
*Although you probably should add your email to the bottom with the other contact information. Agents have different methods of handling emails. You don't want someone to port your query to a different folder, not be able to hit reply and be unable to contact you.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:03 PM   #4
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That's what I thought... I certainly didn't want to look like an idiot to the agent so I figured it would be better to look like an idiot on here.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:51 PM   #5
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Raven,

Before you start sending them out, I would also visit Query Letter Hell. Fun place, lots of love and all that shit...


on the bright side though, many of the folks there are very good at what they do, which is showing you what doesn't work and why. and that's a better thing to learn before you went through your first 50 dream agents, rather than after.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:09 PM   #6
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And because QLH aims at satisfying, you can read I am seeking representation ...( 1 2) which answers your question. Well, as much as QLH answers anything. And the people satisfied aren't usually the poster.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:21 PM   #7
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If you are going to visit QLH (and you really should), you'll need 50 posts to start your own thread there. So come by and work on getting your post count up critting other peoples' queries; it's the best way to improve your own. Seriously.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:30 PM   #8
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Another vote for QLH, but I also want to echo the advice to include your email in the query. Many agents have assistants or agency screeners that receive, read, and then forward the queries that they believe will interest the agent. By the time the agent gets the email, it's not a matter of responding by clicking reply; they're actually reading an email sent by someone inhouse.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:07 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the input. I will try QLH when I'm ready. Been reading a few today and *sigh* decided my query... Needed reworking. And that's being polite. Good thing is I have an entire other 1/2 of the book to write. I only started this MS the second week in January and I'm at 42,000 words but I'm leaving for warmer weather in another week and with the laptop busted, all I have is the desktop at home. So I will be MIA for a bit... Until after Feb 20th.

Another question... I hate tacky and that goes for people. I have a for instance. Say [insert dream agent here] has an assistant that you're supposed to direct your query to BUT you just happen to have said dream agent's email. Would you be better off just sending the query directly to the agent or would that just piss them off. I'm sure it would piss me off. So wait I think I answered my own question? So maybe If you don't get a response should you send a nudge two months later to the actual agent??? Thoughts on this?
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:01 PM   #10
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It's good that you're already thinking of your query now, but you mustn't query that book until it's finished, and revised as hard as you can get it.

And if an agency provides submissions guidelines, follow them to the letter. If those guidelines tell you to submit to a particular email address, do so. If you don't, it's likely that your submission will be deleted unread.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:00 AM   #11
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That's not a stupid question, at all. I was so used to standard letters when I started email queries, I was horribly confused. Now, even though I've done it several times, I just sent out a few queries the other day and forgot to put my address, phone number, email after my name! Talk about stupid.
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