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writerGDW
11-19-2011, 01:40 AM
A friend/former colleague of mine referred me to her agent. She emailed her agent, told him about my memoir and he said he'd love to see the manuscript.

Now, when I email him with the attachment, should I mention my friend/his client in the subject line? Or do I use the usual "query: title" format in the subject and just mention the referral in the first sentence of the query?

Does it matter?

Drachen Jager
11-19-2011, 01:47 AM
I'd mention it in the first sentence personally. I'm not sure if it really makes a difference either way though.

writerGDW
11-19-2011, 02:14 AM
That's what I lean toward...mentioning it in the first line. Including her name in the subject seems somehow too pushy?

PeteDutcher
11-19-2011, 02:20 AM
It actually might make a difference in timing.

I would make the subject:
"QUERY (from referral) - <title> by <Author>"

Otherwise, you may have to wait till he wades through tons of queries and forgets about you. Or worse, what if your friend switched agents during the wait?

The "from referral" might stand out enough to draw this eye quicker.

I've also learned that the good agents are flexible. I had an agent turn me down, but also tell me that I can send Full Manuscripts from now on, because she likes my writing style. And this was someone from a more prominent agency. I wrote back and told her that I was at least 5 months away from completing my latest project, and she commented saying she would like a first look before any other agents.

Drachen Jager
11-19-2011, 02:27 AM
Agents pretty much all have a query filter. Any e-mail with 'query' in the subject line will go to their query folder to be viewed one at a time. They get so many queries I highly doubt many of them scan through the subject lines.

writerGDW
11-19-2011, 02:39 AM
Agents pretty much all have a query filter. Any e-mail with 'query' in the subject line will go to their query folder to be viewed one at a time. They get so many queries I highly doubt many of them scan through the subject lines.

Right. So, this is my worry: include "query" and go to the slush pile. Don't include "query" and get lost in his spam folder, because there's an attachment.

I like the suggestion of using "query (referral)..." or something similar. So at least when he scans the query folder it would potentially stand out.

At this point, I'm probably overthinking it...

KalenO
11-19-2011, 02:49 AM
Agents pretty much all have a query filter. Any e-mail with 'query' in the subject line will go to their query folder to be viewed one at a time. They get so many queries I highly doubt many of them scan through the subject lines.

Actually I've heard a few agents commenting on this lately, mostly in discussions about the importance of titles. A standout title is more likely to catch their interest and get that query read quicker, so I would guess that something like 'referral' would be equally eye-catching.

Since your friend already told her agent about your memoir and he's expecting it, I don't really see how putting it in the subject line could hurt.

MandyHubbard
11-19-2011, 03:43 AM
I agree with Kalen. *waves to Kalen*

Put QUERY: REFERRED BY X in the title.

Most of us either glance over the inbox even when we're not ready to plow into queries, or we get queries on our phone-- I do. I don't tend to open them unless there's something in the subject line-- like "Received offer" or "Referral". The others I just wait until I'm back at my desk.

If the agent has interns, they also know they are to look out for those sorts of things and forward immediately.