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View Full Version : What to put in the Subject line of an email query



HFgal
01-04-2013, 05:09 PM
I've read that you must include the word "query" in your email Subject line.

I've also read that JUST including the word "query" with no other words is not what you want to do.

Should you include you genre? Some incredibly condensed description of your story? Your word count? Is this something that some agencies describe in their website? I think I have come across a few websites that address this, but not many.

Jo Zebedee
01-04-2013, 05:20 PM
Often there will be guidance in the submission notes.

If not, I usually put query: title of novel: author name, but it would be good to know if there is a standard.

I then put the genre, word count and short synopsis in the body of the email as a query letter, and if I've found guidance, I state that I'm following this (mainly to show I took the time to find it).

And it also varies if I'm putting into a UK or US agent; for the US I try to do a snappier query, for UK it's more of a formal business letter.

Jolly-Boo
01-04-2013, 05:24 PM
Query: TITLE OF YOUR BOOK

jclarkdawe
01-04-2013, 06:56 PM
There's a bunch of different approaches, and a few agents have commented on this. The only consensus is to include the word "query" in the subject line to avoid spam filters. But for what it's worth, here's my approach:

query -- TITLE genre word count

This includes the important information for an agent to reject me without looking at the query. In other words, if the genre is wrong for the agent, they can send me the rejection without wasting the time of reading the query. I also don't repeat this information in the query, giving me some more space to work with.

The alternative I recommend is Jolly-Boo's approach:

query -- TITLE

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

EMaree
01-04-2013, 07:02 PM
I used "Query: YA Urban Fantasy TITLE OF BOOK" unless the guidelines specified otherwise.

Corinne Duyvis
01-04-2013, 07:12 PM
I used:

Query: TITLE

Occasionally:

Query: TITLE (genre)

And very occasionally, if there was one submissions address but I wanted to target a specific agent:

Query for Ms. Whatsherface: TITLE

FCameron
01-04-2013, 07:53 PM
I used:

Query: TITLE

Occasionally:

Query: TITLE (genre)

And very occasionally, if there was one submissions address but I wanted to target a specific agent:

Query for Ms. Whatsherface: TITLE

I do the same, based upon the submission guidelines on the agency website where they say to specify the agent.

Stacia Kane
01-04-2013, 08:51 PM
I used "Query: YA Urban Fantasy TITLE OF BOOK" unless the guidelines specified otherwise.


That's what I always did: "QUERY--TITLE--Adult Urban Fantasy."

MandyHubbard
01-05-2013, 03:16 AM
I concur with QUERY: TITLE, as it's the easiest, IMO, when combing through a ton of slush.

BTW, the reason query is vital is that most of us have filters to ensure anything with query in the subject line does NOT go to the spam folder.