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Andrew Jameson
06-03-2005, 10:52 PM
I don't know much about query letters and agents, but I'm trying to learn. And some place like Absolute Write is a great place to learn, because there's always a flurry of questions and answers in this thread and that thread. And, since I'd like to learn as much as possible, I've taken to jotting down people's comments and suggestions in various threads in a file.

I just got to looking at that file, and it seems like there's a lot of good stuff in there culled from all those other threads.

I thought, maybe other people would find these information sources useful. So I stuck 'em in this here thread and posted 'em. And since I still don't know much about query letters and agents, and I'm still trying to learn, if anyone has more links or information on queries and agents to complement what's below, please post it.

Some Links on Queries and Agents

Places on the Net in General. The WWW is a big place, and a whole lot of information is out there.
How Do You Write a Query? Try the how-to articles from


AgentQuery (http://agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx)
Lynn Flewelling (http://www.sfwa.org/2005/01/the-complete-nobodys-guide-to-query-letters/) Link updated 2/12
Tara K Harper (http://tarakharper.com/faq_qery.htm)
Fiction Writer's Connection (http://www.fictionwriters.com/tips-query-letters.html)
Keith Rommel (http://www.booklore.co.uk/Articles/RommelKeith/WriteAKillerQueryArticle.htm)
Lisa Gardner (http://lisagardner.com/writers-toolbox) (queries and synopses) Link updated 2/12
right here on AbsoluteWrite (http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/novel_query.htm) (of course!)
another AbsoluteWrite (http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/henderson02-23-05.htm) source, and, heck take a look at all the articles, why don'tcha? (http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/articles1.htm#selling)

Non-Fiction Proposals and information:

Nathan Bransford (http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2007/02/how-to-write-nonfiction-book-proposal.html)
Washington Independent Writers American Independent Writers (http://www.amerindywriters.org/2005/03/16/aiw-workshop-%E2%80%9Cwrite-winning-query-letters%E2%80%9D/) Link updated 2/12
Steve Laube Michael Hyatt (http://www.bowkermanuscriptsubmissions.com/pdfs/WritingABookProposal.pdf) (this is a pdf) Link updated 2/12
Scott Mendel No longer available
Right here on Absolute Write No longer available
Sample Query Letters from published authors are available from

Charlotte Dillon (http://www.charlottedillon.com/query.html) (check out her query links!)
Nicolas Sparks (http://www.nicholassparks.com/for-writers/query-letter) Link updated 2/12
Holly Lisle (http://hollylisle.com/how-to-query-an-agent/) Link updated 2/12
Beth Amos (http://www.bethamos.com/query.htm)
John E Stith (http://www.sfwa.org/2005/01/hunting-for-an-agent-with-sample-synopsis/) Link updated 2/12
S. L. Viehl (http://fmwriters.com/Visionback/Issue9/GBI.htm) (includes some instructive Bad Queries, too!)
Sherry Thomas (http://sherrythomas.blogspot.com/2006/08/tale-of-two-queries.html)
Patricia Wood (http://pkwood.blogspot.com/2007/01/query-query-whos-got-query.html)
Holly Kennedy No longer available
Preditors and Editors (http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubquery.htm)
A thread on writers.net No longer available
Agent's Ideal Queries -- what they look for (and hate!) in a query that crosses their desk -- may also be useful. Try the ones from

Nathan Bransford (http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2006/11/anatomy-of-good-query-letter.html) (and don't forget Part II (http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2007/05/anatomy-of-good-query-letter-ii.html)!)
Andrew Zack (http://www.zackcompany.com/images/stories/theperfectpitch.pdf), and his description of the perfect query letter (this is a pdf) Link updated 2/12
Jenny Bent No longer available
Nelson Agency (http://www.nelsonagency.com/faq.html)
More from Kristin Nelson (http://pubrants.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_pubrants_archive.html)--dissections of real queries (scroll to August 8-18)
Miriam Goderich (http://dglm.blogspot.com/2006/12/miriam-goderichs-musings-on-perfect.html)
writers.net's "Equally Entrenched" (http://www.writers.net/articles/writers/query_letters.php)
Barry Goldblatt (http://bgliterary.livejournal.com/2005/08/18/) (scroll to August 18, 2005) Made direct link
Barbara Collins Rosenberg (http://www.rosenberggroup.com/submitfiction.htm) (scroll to the bottom)
Wylie-Merrick No longer available
Rachel Vater with one-sentence pithy descriptions No longer available
Caren Johnson No longer available
Book Ends (http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/2006/06/question-of-month-part-2.html)
Miss Snark (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/search/label/crapometer-cover%20letters) brutally reviews queries...as well as first pages (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/search/label/Crapometer-first%20pages) and hooks (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/search/label/Crapometer-hooks) and synopses (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/search/label/Crapometer-synopsis) and query/page combinations (top of this page (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2006_08_27_misssnark_archive.html) and bottom of this one (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2006_09_03_archive.html)).
The Evil Editor (http://www.evileditor.blogspot.com/) critiques queries and pages all through his blog.
The Rejecter (http://rejecter.blogspot.com/) has all sorts of suggestions.
On Getting Agents, advice comes from multiple sources:

Teresa Nielsen-Hayden (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/004772.html) on agents,
Orson Scott Card (http://www.hatrack.com/writingclass/lessons/1999-01-29.shtml) on agents and submissions,
Neil Gaiman (http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2005/01/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about.asp) and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, with all sorts of links
On searching for an agent (http://www.victoriastrauss.com/advice/safest/) by Victoria Strauss Link updated 1/14
Researching their track record (http://www.victoriastrauss.com/advice/track-record/) by Victoria Strauss (multiple links) Link updated 1/14
The Association of Author's Representatives FAQ (http://aaronline.org/FAQ) -- an agent's trade group Link updated 2/12
Brian Hill and Dee Power's (http://www.brianhillanddeepower.com/agent.html) survey of agents
Multiple articles (http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/articles1.htm#agents) right here on AbsoluteWrite
Finding Agents

AgentQuery (http://www.agentquery.com/): a big list of agents and their needs
Publisher's Marketplace (http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/): more agents. more information
The Association of Author's Representatives (http://aaronline.org/): the main trade organization for agents Link updated 2/12
Weekly publishing moves: catch up on who went where No longer available

Right here on the Absolute Write forums there's plenty of useful information. In particular:
Uncle Jim, in his novel-writing thread


speaks out on query letters (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=82749#post82749)
gives some information on agents (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=83723#post83723)
describes a "compelling query" in two sentences (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=233524#post233524)
Guest agents answer tons of questions:

Ginger Clark (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34123)
Jenny Bent (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33444)
Ben Salmon (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36460)
Lucienne Diver (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51110)
Nathan Bransford (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53863)
Andrew Zack, in "Ask the Agent,"

gives some miscellaneous query advice (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8887#post8887)
tells how to mail a query (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8917#post8917) and appease the agent
explains what the role of an agent is (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8995#post8995)
More general query threads

Query Letter Confusion (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30725), discussing what goes into a query
Query = Letter + 1st 3 pages??? (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25548) More query discussion
SRHowen's (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9780) interesting and unconventional query letter
Magazine Query - to specific editor or generic No longer available
Query critiques and rewrites, are a collaborative effort from multiple members, with discussions and pointers of good and bad things in query letters. For current discussions, check out the Query Letter Critiques (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=84) in the Share Your Work forum. Password = vista.

A Few Miscellaneous are

the survey of published authors (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7027) on first novels, publishers, and agents
a preparation list (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6973) for outlines, synopses, etc
when one should get an agent (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6966)
should agents or publishers be queried first? (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6754) (with many links)

Any additions?

Liam Jackson
06-03-2005, 11:11 PM
An ambitious undertaking. Well done, sir! We'll see about having this stuck to the top of the thread.

LJ

ChunkyC
06-04-2005, 03:52 AM
Stuck it is.

Nice work, Andrew. A big thanks on behalf of the Cooler. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/emoteThumbs.gif

Andrew Jameson
06-04-2005, 04:14 AM
Whoa. I feel sticky all of a sudden.

I hope all that stuff's useful; I'll update if anyone's got additions.

Vanessa
06-04-2005, 04:22 AM
Thanks Andrew! That was cool of you to do that for the "Cooler." Definitely a wealth of information.

brinkett
06-04-2005, 06:41 AM
Very nice. Thank you.

mschannon
06-08-2005, 07:54 PM
Great job at collecting souces: another source of articles on all sorts of topics can be found at this very own site, surprise:
http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/articles1.htm

mschannon
06-10-2005, 07:33 PM
I've been scouring the internet for info on queries & synposes, finally thought what I found was a good source for queries and wrote one for the novel I've just finished.

I sent the query to a published author/acquaintance from readerville.com (another greater writer's site...and to be honest, easier to navigate that this one) and she said it was too long by a third and too complex. It was one page! She said that the shorter the better--a hook, one short graf about the book, a bit of bio, ask if they want to see the m.s. and get out. She emphasized don't be cute, try to be clever, or too complex.

For what it's worth.

Sophie
07-31-2005, 06:52 AM
What does one do about agents who, despite receiving SASE, never reply? I just let it go by, but what prompts an agent to be so unfeeling, ungracious, or jut plain nasty? They know from the appearance of the query that the writer took considerable care to make it as presentable as possible. Still, somebody just puts it into the trash. To say that they didn't receive it is hardly the answer when other agents received the queries and took the time to answer, even if it was only a scribble--"Not for us. Sorry." That's also a putdown, but at least it's an answer.

Andrew Zack
07-31-2005, 09:34 PM
Sophie: I wouldn't assume you won't EVENTUALLY receive an answer. I have personally held onto queries for months and months because I had so much reading to do that I didn't want to request anything new.

Also, I do sometimes get that SASE back, saying it was undeliverable....

Best,
Andy

Burnz
08-06-2005, 05:08 AM
muchos gracias. Very helpful resources right there, let me tell you. Thanks for all the leg work.

meryl
10-07-2005, 01:09 AM
Mridu Kellar often writes about Query Letters. She has an article here (http://www.freelancewriting.com/articles/2005/article-khullar2005.html) and a free 12-day ecourse on Write Query Letters That Sell (http://www.writerscrossing.com/ecourses.html) based on the book of the same name.

Tiaga
10-07-2005, 10:59 AM
I sent the query to a published author/acquaintance from readerville.com (another greater writer's site...and to be honest, easier to navigate that this one)

Are you kidding? I've been on it and it's very confusing and not geared toward the writer. Thumbs down.

DeePower
12-27-2005, 02:27 AM
To understand how authors can improve their odds of attracting an agent, and to learn the outlook for rookies trying to crack into the brutally competitive publishing industry, we surveyed more than 60 literary agents. Their backgrounds range from large, well-known agencies to smaller “boutique” agencies.

Among the questions we asked were these: Where do agents find clients? What is the most critical mistake writers make when approaching agents? What is the most common reason you decline to represent a writer? And, do you see the publishing industry becoming more or less favorable for new (unpublished) authors?

You can find the survey results at
http://www.brianhillanddeepower.com/agent.html

Dee

Talia
07-29-2006, 12:48 PM
superb!!!! wonderful thank you everyone :)

Arna
08-12-2006, 06:56 PM
Andrew,

What can I say? You have just made this newbie very happy. I don't have a complaint, a suggestion or a question (first one not included).

You have done an outstanding job! "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

earthshoes
08-18-2006, 08:40 AM
Oh hallejulia! I have entered the promise land! You have no idea how long I've been searching for this and asking other writers how to write these silly things. I've been dreading this part of the process more than the rejection letters.

Tnorthern
09-28-2006, 10:08 AM
Firstly Wow the first part of this thread....wow.

But now I must ask. I've written this query for my novel. And for my part I know the numerable variables that go into getting a rejection, anything from poor writing to the agent being lactose intolerant and having embibed a quart of milk the very same afternoon she/he read my submission. But I was hoping to widdle down those variables by feeling a bit more comfortable with the query I've written. You see getting a rejection for the query with clip/synopsis, etc is one thing. Per agency preference, I've sent them what they desire. But there are some who only want the query. Somewhere my naive ego thought someone would want to see a partial having read the query even if they don't take on the project. I hadn't thought the letter that bad. No one has even asked to read partials.
Any help would be much obliged
I researched the agents that I sent to thoroughly. Now I'm beginning to wonder if the query is acceptable. I need opinions.

Appalachian Writer
11-13-2006, 05:52 AM
HI! I've just written my first novel and gotten my first 100 rejections. Finally someone asked to read my partial. The agent's had it for a few weeks, but along with his letter, I sent a 10 agent blitz of queries and some agents are just now responding on a positive note. Is is kosher to nudge the current reader by letting him know other agents are now requesting the partial, or will it ruffle feathers and leave a bad taste is the first requesting agent's mouth?

BarbaraSheridan
11-13-2006, 07:09 AM
I'd not bug the agent if only partials are being requested.

If you get requests for fulls leading to an offer(s) of representation then "nudge" whoever may still have your work.

Appalachian Writer
11-13-2006, 08:40 PM
Thanks! Although I know patience is a virtue, in that regard I'm not very virtuous.

Nathan Bransford
11-10-2007, 06:07 AM
Wow, great list. Is it gauche of me to add my own?

My ideal query letters here (http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2006/11/anatomy-of-good-query-letter.html) and here (http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2007/05/anatomy-of-good-query-letter-ii.html).

How to write a nonfiction book proposal (http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2007/02/how-to-write-nonfiction-book-proposal.html)

Jewey Witch Goddess
04-17-2008, 09:50 AM
silly, perhaps, outright ridiculous questions, but i'm finding that i have a LOT of those these days.

when you query an agent and they email you back with a 'we'd like to see your stuff, blahdee blah' is it proper, or improper to write a quick 'thanks, it's in the mail' email back.?

seems like a no-brainer...just pop the stuff in the mail, but something tugs at me to just say 'thanks so much! i'll get that right out to ya'

it's these things that are eating up brain space. so HELP!

Le Mot Juste
04-23-2008, 03:14 AM
Merci beaucoup! It took me six months to write my book but I'm still rewriting the query after eight!

LMJ

T M
04-28-2008, 06:31 AM
For anybody that hasn't checked out Nathan Bransford's blog, you should. It's awesome: http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com

NEW!!!: I wanted to add a blog I just learned about. It's called Query Shark and it's a blog that only focuses on query letters. Check it out: http://queryshark.blogspot.com

Leaannie
04-28-2008, 06:36 AM
I did it! I got an agent! About to give up a thousand or so times, but it finally happened. Hang in there fellow-unpublished authors! Keep trying!

Visit my blog! http://leaannsgarden.blogspot.com/

Suzan
07-06-2009, 05:40 PM
Need advice... I got a request for an exclusive read from my dream agent who I'll call Agent1. In the meantime, I've gotten a request from Agent2 who also has outstanding credentials. The "exclusive" with Agent1 is about up and I'm just wondering, should I follow-up with an e-mail to Agent1 or just go ahead and send to Agent2? What's proper protocol in this situation?
Suzan

Ms.rachel
07-06-2009, 06:07 PM
tell agent two about the exclusive and the date that you can send them the MS. Then on the final day of the exclusive ask agent 1 for a status update. Ask if they had time to consider it, you could tell them that you have had another request and before sending something off wanted to check in with them. You dont want to come off like you are pressuring them for a response, but I think full disclosure would be your best bet. I am sure they are use to this kind of thing. Agent 1 is your first choice, so let them know that you are keeping them informed because they are your preference.
And.... congrats on the interest!

good luck

Suzan
07-06-2009, 06:19 PM
I appreciate the great advice! Thank you!!
Suzan

Kristin
12-11-2009, 01:04 AM
Great list! I realize the last post is a few months old, but I'm trying to find a good database for agents without having to start a new thread. This site is huge and the search feature here is daunting.

So according to your list, three top sites for finding agents are Agentquery.com (I've already used that to find my initial list of agents), Publishers Marketplace, and AAR. Does anyone know if there are any other databases I can use to help me find agents in my genre that I might have missed? Or a book that I can sit down with and copy names from? (Writers Market maybe? I haven't looked at one of those in a while but I don't know if it has a list of agents.) I'm 3/4 of the way through my list of agents to query, and starting to worry that I'll run out before finding one.

Henksbird
01-14-2011, 11:33 PM
Congrats Lea Ann!

Itobias
02-17-2011, 10:30 PM
thank you

Flexi
05-18-2011, 05:48 AM
Wow! This is such a useful thread.

tulugaq
07-23-2011, 05:11 PM
Queries:

I just did a query study to present to my local writers group. Many 'lessons learned.' I put the highlights (including links, a few different from those above) on my website, so maybe it'll help others:

http://www.charleypearson.com/QueryPage.php

bmadsen
08-03-2011, 10:30 PM
Happy day, I've been enlightened

Ladyillusion7
10-19-2011, 03:31 AM
I have noticed that several Agents, say they don't represent Romance novels, yet will put Women's Fiction. What is the difference?

My novel is a romance novel, but it can fall into the category of Women's Fiction, since its about the character's survival and all the atrocities she goes through at the hands of her husband. Can any explain the difference please. Ta


NB: Apologies if this has been posted in the wrong area, i thought as it relates to querying agents, it might be appropriate. If its not, please could you move it. Thanks

Mr Flibble
10-19-2011, 03:41 AM
I have noticed that several Agents, say they don't represent Romance novels, yet will put Women's Fiction. What is the difference?

My novel is a romance novel, but it can fall into the category of Women's Fiction, since its about the character's survival and all the atrocities she goes through at the hands of her husband. Can any explain the difference please. Ta


NB: Apologies if this has been posted in the wrong area, i thought as it relates to querying agents, it might be appropriate. If its not, please could you move it. Thanks

Romance : abut the development of a relationship that leads to an HEA (happy ever after, or at least a happy for now). Tends to gloss over any 'dark' aspects.

Love story: Same but may not end happily

Women's fiction: I think it more focuses on the life of the MC (think Catherine Cookson/Barbara Taylor Bradford, obviously written for women, not nesc, a happy ending, or happy things in book. Can go a lot darker than romance) They may or may not find happiness at teh end, but it's the heroine's journey through life (rather than A Relationship)that is the focus.


Yours sound more women's fic, from what you've said.

Ladyillusion7
10-19-2011, 07:56 PM
Romance : abut the development of a relationship that leads to an HEA (happy ever after, or at least a happy for now). Tends to gloss over any 'dark' aspects.

Love story: Same but may not end happily

Women's fiction: I think it more focuses on the life of the MC (think Catherine Cookson/Barbara Taylor Bradford, obviously written for women, not nesc, a happy ending, or happy things in book. Can go a lot darker than romance) They may or may not find happiness at teh end, but it's the heroine's journey through life (rather than A Relationship)that is the focus.


Yours sound more women's fic, from what you've said.

@IdiotsRUs - Thanks for clearing that up for me. I think my book is definitely Women's Fiction rather than romance, as it is about the transition of the MC.

Thanx

JacelynnFaye
11-02-2011, 07:19 PM
Love the resources!

CrastersBabies
11-04-2011, 08:35 PM
Sarah Megibow from Denver's The Nelson Agency went through 10 query letters via Twitter. Interesting to get her view on how she reads these and passes or asks for more: http://twitter.com/#!/search/realtime/%2310queriesIn10tweets

Just look for her name. She numbers each one. I can update when she does this again.

codone
12-09-2011, 08:37 PM
Note: Many of these links are bad.



I don't know much about query letters and agents, but I'm trying to learn. And some place like Absolute Write is a great place to learn, because there's always a flurry of questions and answers in this thread and that thread. And, since I'd like to learn as much as possible, I've taken to jotting down people's comments and suggestions in various threads in a file.

I just got to looking at that file, and it seems like there's a lot of good stuff in there culled from all those other threads.

I thought, maybe other people would find these information sources useful. So I stuck 'em in this here thread and posted 'em. And since I still don't know much about query letters and agents, and I'm still trying to learn, if anyone has more links or information on queries and agents to complement what's below, please post it.

Some Links on Queries and Agents

Places on the Net in General. The WWW is a big place, and a whole lot of information is out there.
How Do You Write a Query? Try the how-to articles from


AgentQuery (http://agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx)
Lynn Flewelling (http://www.sfwa.org/writing/query.htm)
Tara K Harper (http://tarakharper.com/faq_qery.htm)
Fiction Writer's Connection (http://www.fictionwriters.com/tips-query-letters.html)
Keith Rommel (http://www.booklore.co.uk/Articles/RommelKeith/WriteAKillerQueryArticle.htm)
Lisa Gardner (http://www.lisagardner.com/tricks/synopsis.htm) (queries and synopses)
right here on AbsoluteWrite (http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/novel_query.htm) (of course!)
another AbsoluteWrite (http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/henderson02-23-05.htm) source, and, heck take a look at all the articles, why don'tcha? (http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/articles1.htm#selling)

Non-Fiction Proposals and information:

Nathan Bransford (http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2007/02/how-to-write-nonfiction-book-proposal.html)
Washington Independent Writers (http://www.washwriter.org/workshp_mar05.html)
Steve Laube (http://www.stevelaube.com/How%20to%20Write%20a%20Non-fiction%20Book%20Proposal.pdf) (this is a pdf)
Scott Mendel (http://bksp.org/secondarypages/articles/agentseditors/SMendell1.htm)
Right here on Absolute Write (http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/book_proposal1.htm)
Sample Query Letters from published authors are available from

Charlotte Dillon (http://www.charlottedillon.com/query.html) (check out her query links!)
Nicolas Sparks (http://www.nicholassparks.com/WritersCorner/Query.html)
Holly Lisle (http://www.hollylisle.com/fm/Articles/agent2.html)
Beth Amos (http://www.bethamos.com/query.htm)
John E Stith (http://www.sfwa.org/writing/OP71.htm)
S. L. Viehl (http://fmwriters.com/Visionback/Issue9/GBI.htm) (includes some instructive Bad Queries, too!)
Sherry Thomas (http://sherrythomas.blogspot.com/2006/08/tale-of-two-queries.html)
Patricia Wood (http://pkwood.blogspot.com/2007/01/query-query-whos-got-query.html)
Holly Kennedy (http://author-in-the-trenches.blogspot.com/2007/01/writing-perfect-query-letter.html)
Preditors and Editors (http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubquery.htm)
A thread (http://www.writers.net/forum/read.php?f=10&i=113582&t=113498) on writers.net
Agent's Ideal Queries -- what they look for (and hate!) in a query that crosses their desk -- may also be useful. Try the ones from

Nathan Bransford (http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2006/11/anatomy-of-good-query-letter.html) (and don't forget Part II (http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2007/05/anatomy-of-good-query-letter-ii.html)!)
Andrew Zack (http://www.zackcompany.com/submissions/perfectpitch.pdf), and his description of the perfect query letter
Jenny Bent (http://www.jennybent.com/letter/)
Nelson Agency (http://www.nelsonagency.com/faq.html)
More from Kristin Nelson (http://pubrants.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_pubrants_archive.html)--dissections of real queries (scroll to August 8-18)
Miriam Goderich (http://dglm.blogspot.com/2006/12/miriam-goderichs-musings-on-perfect.html)
writers.net's "Equally Entrenched" (http://www.writers.net/articles/writers/query_letters.php)
Barry Goldblatt (http://www.livejournal.com/users/bgliterary/) (scroll to August 18, 2005)
Barbara Collins Rosenberg (http://www.rosenberggroup.com/submitfiction.htm) (scroll to the bottom)
Wylie-Merrick (http://wyliemerrick.blogspot.com/2006/06/some-more-query-stuff.html)
Rachel Vater (http://raleva31.livejournal.com/) with one-sentence pithy descriptions
Caren Johnson (http://cjla.squarespace.com/journal/2007/1/23/show-me-whatcha-got.html)
Book Ends (http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/2006/06/question-of-month-part-2.html)
Miss Snark (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/search/label/crapometer-cover%20letters) brutally reviews queries...as well as first pages (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/search/label/Crapometer-first%20pages) and hooks (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/search/label/Crapometer-hooks) and synopses (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/search/label/Crapometer-synopsis) and query/page combinations (top of this page (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2006_08_27_misssnark_archive.html) and bottom of this one (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2006_09_03_archive.html)).
The Evil Editor (http://www.evileditor.blogspot.com/) critiques queries and pages all through his blog.
The Rejecter (http://rejecter.blogspot.com/) has all sorts of suggestions.
On Getting Agents, advice comes from multiple sources:

Teresa Nielsen-Hayden (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/004772.html) on agents,
Orson Scott Card (http://www.hatrack.com/writingclass/lessons/1999-01-29.shtml) on agents and submissions,
Neil Gaiman (http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2005/01/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about.asp) and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, with all sorts of links
On searching for an agent (http://www.sff.net/people/VictoriaStrauss/agentsearch.html) by Victoria Strauss
Researching their track record (http://www.sff.net/people/VictoriaStrauss/trackrecord.html) by Victoria Strauss (multiple links)
The Association of Author's Representatives FAQ (http://www.aar-online.org/mc/page.do?sitePageId=10336) -- an agent's trade group
Brian Hill and Dee Power's (http://www.brianhillanddeepower.com/agent.html) survey of agents
Multiple articles (http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/articles1.htm#agents) right here on AbsoluteWrite
Finding Agents

AgentQuery (http://www.agentquery.com/): a big list of agents and their needs
Publisher's Marketplace (http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/): more agents. more information
The Association of Author's Representatives (http://www.aar-online.org/mc/page.do): the main trade organization for agents
Weekly publishing moves (http://www.vistacomp.com/pub_moves/pub_moves.html): catch up on who went where

Right here on the Absolute Write forums there's plenty of useful information. In particular:
Uncle Jim, in his novel-writing thread


speaks out on query letters (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=82749#post82749)
gives some information on agents (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=83723#post83723)
describes a "compelling query" in two sentences (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=233524#post233524)
Guest agents answer tons of questions:

Ginger Clark (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34123)
Jenny Bent (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33444)
Ben Salmon (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36460)
Lucienne Diver (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51110)
Nathan Bransford (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53863)
Andrew Zack, in "Ask the Agent,"

gives some miscellaneous query advice (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8887#post8887)
tells how to mail a query (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8917#post8917) and appease the agent
explains what the role of an agent is (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8995#post8995)
More general query threads

Query Letter Confusion (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30725), discussing what goes into a query
Query = Letter + 1st 3 pages??? (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25548) More query discussion
SRHowen's (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9780) interesting and unconventional query letter
Magazine Query - to specific editor or generic (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29601)
Query critiques and rewrites, are a collaborative effort from multiple members, with discussions and pointers of good and bad things in query letters. For current discussions, check out the Query Letter Critiques (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=84) in the Share Your Work forum.

A Few Miscellaneous are

the survey of published authors (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7027) on first novels, publishers, and agents
a preparation list (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6973) for outlines, synopses, etc
when one should get an agent (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6966)
should agents or publishers be queried first? (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6754) (with many links)

Any additions?

rebmacrath
12-20-2011, 01:08 AM
As I expected, a very helpful thread. But I'm left wondering about something: I went a-Googling today, now that the time had come to query on the new project. Has something changed online in the past year or two? I ask this, because I had the darndest time when I input the name of an agent or agency. I was looking for the agency's web sites for names of agents, submission information. But I kept finding scads of listings for Query Tracker and other sources, not providing e-mail addresses or agents' names, etc. Did the world change while I Rip Van Rebbed?

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
12-20-2011, 01:31 AM
reb, I just noticed that quite a few websites I bookmarked even last year were gone. It's not just you. As they say, publishing is changing quite a bit these days. Blink and we miss something (or someone...)

Terie
12-20-2011, 01:59 AM
Note: Many of these links are bad.

Not a big surprise when the post and its links are six-and-a-half years old.

jaksen
12-20-2011, 05:37 AM
As I expected, a very helpful thread. But I'm left wondering about something: I went a-Googling today, now that the time had come to query on the new project. Has something changed online in the past year or two? I ask this, because I had the darndest time when I input the name of an agent or agency. I was looking for the agency's web sites for names of agents, submission information. But I kept finding scads of listings for Query Tracker and other sources, not providing e-mail addresses or agents' names, etc. Did the world change while I Rip Van Rebbed?

In order to see an agent's email addresses on Query Tracker you need to be a user of that site. (Registered.) You can either do the free register or paid. (With paid you get more options and some reports, etc., that are not available with the free.)

But with free you get names, postal addresses and email addresses. You can also keep track of your queries.

rebmacrath
12-20-2011, 05:36 PM
In order to see an agent's email addresses on Query Tracker you need to be a user of that site. (Registered.) You can either do the free register or paid. (With paid you get more options and some reports, etc., that are not available with the free.)

But with free you get names, postal addresses and email addresses. You can also keep track of your queries.

Thanks for your response. I've spent the better part of this morning Googling more intensively to make sure I wasn't the problem. The number of agencies who have actual websites appears to have diminished--cutting corners, it may be. Clearly, I'll need to learn new footwork and be more fluid in my approach. The morning has ended on a happy note, with my following through on an agency mentioned at the back of a favorite book. One of the agents has a strong record in bookstores and I spent a decade working in two of the country's biggest. So we'll see if we connect.

Will keep you guys posted.

P.S. Chuck Sambuchin's online Guide to agents is beginning to show real potential.

Silver-Midnight
12-29-2011, 04:39 AM
I have a question, and I sincerely apologize if it's a bad question. Do you look for agents based on the genre you write? I know nothing about getting or even having an agent. I am completely new to even the idea of publishing. Please note that I am not looking for an agent of as of right now. I am just trying to find information and learn.

BarbaraSheridan
12-29-2011, 05:02 AM
I have a question, and I sincerely apologize if it's a bad question. Do you look for agents based on the genre you write? I know nothing about getting or even having an agent. I am completely new to even the idea of publishing. Please note that I am not looking for an agent of as of right now. I am just trying to find information and learn.

You want an agent who represents your preferred genre(s) because they obviously have the editorial contacts in place to make sales.

Cyia
12-29-2011, 05:24 AM
You want an agent who represents and has sold in your preferred genre(s) because they obviously have the editorial contacts in place to make sales.

I made a little tweak. You really want someone who does more than rep Genre X. If you're their first attempt at selling YA or romance or thriller, even though it's on their list, then you may only be hoping they have the contacts in place.

IceCreamEmpress
12-29-2011, 05:48 AM
Ideally, you want an agent who has sold books in the genre you write to the kind of publisher you would like to be published by.

If what you want is to sell a mystery novel to a Big Six New York press, then an agent who has only sold mysteries to university presses and epublishers isn't your best bet.

BarbaraSheridan
12-29-2011, 06:40 AM
I made a little tweak. You really want someone who does more than rep Genre X. If you're their first attempt at selling YA or romance or thriller, even though it's on their list, then you may only be hoping they have the contacts in place.

Oops. Thank you for the tweak. My mistake for not adding that in.

tulugaq
12-31-2011, 10:42 PM
Not a big surprise when the post and its links are six-and-a-half years old.

I just rechecked all the cross-links on my own 'query advice' page, and they're all working (for now). Maybe you'll find some of these useful:

http://www.charleypearson.com/QueryPage.php

FinePrint Literary is updating their website, so sub-links to their pages may not work in the future. (I imagine the main FinePrint web address will remain the same, tho, and hopefully you can find their material from there.)

Good luck!

CaoPaux
02-24-2012, 09:28 PM
M'kay, I've gone through and updated links where possible. Let me know if I missed any.

FMAnderson
07-15-2012, 08:33 PM
I can tell I'll be coming back to this thread as my manuscript gets closer to completion! Thanks!

HoJo73
03-16-2013, 11:11 PM
Wow! What a post! I just joined today and already I'm in love :) Thank you!

Steven Hutson
07-02-2013, 07:35 PM
My fav source for info on agents, is Jeff Herman's Guide. It gives an extensive bio for each agent, with insights you won't find anywhere else I've seen.

Also a great source of info on publishers, more informative than Writer's Market. WM might have more listings, but Herman has more and better info on the ones they do list.

Mathion
07-04-2013, 09:38 PM
I'm just wondering how I can get an agent to respond positively to my letter when I have no prior publishing credits :Huh:

Help!! haha

CAWriter
07-04-2013, 09:56 PM
I'm just wondering how I can get an agent to respond positively to my letter when I have no prior publishing credits :Huh:

Help!! haha

They care more about the project you are pitching and your ability to do it justice than they do prior credits.

Siri Kirpal
07-04-2013, 10:00 PM
I'm just wondering how I can get an agent to respond positively to my letter when I have no prior publishing credits :Huh:

Help!! haha

Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

By writing a striking query letter and sending it only to agents who rep your genre. And adhering to their querying rules. Oh, and have a beautifully polished manuscript to submit. You may need to include sample chapters/pages.

In case you haven't found it yet, the place to look at successful queries here is Query Letter Hell in Share Your Work. Password is vista. Read the stickies (but also use your own judgment). Read some thread, especially in your genre, all the way through. Once you reach 50 posts, you can post your own query for mauling...er, critique. You can critique other people's queries now.

Once you reach 50 posts, you can also post short sections of your ms in the relevant section of SYW (same password).

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Mathion
07-04-2013, 11:32 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

By writing a striking query letter and sending it only to agents who rep your genre. And adhering to their querying rules. Oh, and have a beautifully polished manuscript to submit. You may need to include sample chapters/pages.

In case you haven't found it yet, the place to look at successful queries here is Query Letter Hell in Share Your Work. Password is vista. Read the stickies (but also use your own judgment). Read some thread, especially in your genre, all the way through. Once you reach 50 posts, you can post your own query for mauling...er, critique. You can critique other people's queries now.

Once you reach 50 posts, you can also post short sections of your ms in the relevant section of SYW (same password).

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Haha I'll do my best! I'm eager to share my work (and even more eager to get it published) so I'll do my best to get to 50 without spamming :D

waylander
07-05-2013, 02:02 AM
You might also want to look at the archives of Queryshark (queryshark.blogspot.com)

Mathion
07-05-2013, 06:15 PM
You might also want to look at the archives of Queryshark (queryshark.blogspot.com)

Anywhere specific in the archives? Sorry, it's the morning after July 4th and... yeah....


'Murica :Shrug:

waylander
07-05-2013, 10:19 PM
All of the archives

Thedrellum
07-06-2013, 08:36 PM
By the way, Mathion, Waylander is not being facetious. Just start from the earliest post on Queryshark and read forward until your eyes start to bleed or you get what you need.

Dysnomia
09-16-2013, 09:20 AM
Hi there! This might be a really dumb question, but I was just wondering if you've written a series, should you state upfront in a query letter that the novel is part of a series? Or is that info not needed to be known as of yet?

Also, should you choose an agent who specifically states he/she's interested in a series or does that not matter?

Old Hack
09-16-2013, 10:36 AM
You query one book at a time. So only query the first book, but you would be fine to mention that it has series potential.

Don't look for agents who state they're interested in a series: it's not a pertinent point.

Dysnomia
09-16-2013, 09:12 PM
You query one book at a time. So only query the first book, but you would be fine to mention that it has series potential.

Don't look for agents who state they're interested in a series: it's not a pertinent point.

Thank you for your reply!

Riz&Roz
01-10-2014, 06:01 AM
Very cool!

aus10phile
01-25-2014, 08:33 PM
FYI - the Victoria Strauss links under "on getting an agent" in the initial post don't seem to be working.

CaoPaux
01-25-2014, 08:50 PM
Updated, thanks!

mommaareaux
09-25-2014, 04:59 AM
Anyone know of literary agents who are actively seeking new writers for the YA fiction genres? I had two contracts from publishing houses, but after many discussions through various threads, it seems to be in my best interest to find a literary agent rather than go through a small publishing company.
If anyone has advice or comments, please share. I had one agent interested, and she asked for my full manuscript and a few weeks to review, but when I e-mailed her to let her know I had a publishing house interested, she asked for more time. I still have not heard back from her and I am not sure how much "bugging" I want to do.
Lots of information I just purged, any help is obviously needed.

Maramoser
09-25-2014, 06:20 AM
mommaareaux, try Querytracker.net. You can sort the agents by which genre/categories they're interested in and you will find many, many agents that are looking for YA. (and be aware that not every agent is listed on there, so you can also use AgentQuery, which is linked in the original post). Be sure you are ready to query first though, and that you've read all the articles linked in the original post!

Also keep in mind that, like publishers, some agents are more reputable than others--the forums here are a great resource for that.

GypsyLayla
11-11-2017, 06:51 AM
Needs more updating. Most of the first links are all broken.

PhelanLutze
05-28-2018, 05:13 AM
As a new fish who has just finished primary editing on my manuscript, this entire thread is perfect. Thank you all! The longer I trek through the many threads of this site, the more apparent it becomes that this site is invaluable to any aspiring writer. ( it also doesn't hurt that there are so many wonderfully unique people to talk to )