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View Full Version : Saying "Hey, I like your stuff" In a Query



Taylor Harbin
07-03-2016, 10:18 PM
There's an agent I want to query and make a good impression. I've read all of the essays he wrote that are on the website, and I feel that it might be an opportunity to try for a personal connection. Not the off the cuff lazy thing agents hate, more of a "hey, I liked your work and we seem to think alike" kind of thing.

My query letter has been beaten into shape in QLH, but I'm considering adding a sentence or two at the very beginning. I know that it probably won't have any effect on my chances, but I've read from several agents who have said they appreciate it when hopeful writers make it a point to research the agents they're interested in.

I don't want to flatter or take away from the pitch, just add a little extra to stand out. And because I really DID like the essays.

Thoughts on the best way to do this?

NateSean
07-03-2016, 10:59 PM
If any particular essay resonates with your own work for any reason, I wouldn't see the harm in briefly mentioning it. I wouldn't gush, though.

aus10phile
07-04-2016, 02:56 AM
Is it the type of thing where you could say, "I read in X that you're looking for stories that Y"? Or "I read in X that you think Y about [writing topic]..." and connect it back to your book?

Otherwise, you could just say something as simple as "I chose to query you because I enjoyed/found helpful/connected with your articles about XYZ."

I'm still in the query trenches myself and have not seen a difference overall in personalizing vs not personalizing queries. Your guess is as good as mine as to how much it matters. I always do it when I can cite something specific like a #MSWL tweet, but I've gotten requests off queries where I didn't personalize.

Siri Kirpal
07-04-2016, 03:01 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I've had better luck with personalized queries than non-personalized, so I'd go ahead and do it. Briefly, professionally. "I like all the essays on your website" might be sufficient.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Taylor Harbin
07-04-2016, 05:02 AM
Is it the type of thing where you could say, "I read in X that you're looking for stories that Y"? Or "I read in X that you think Y about [writing topic]..." and connect it back to your book?

Otherwise, you could just say something as simple as "I chose to query you because I enjoyed/found helpful/connected with your articles about XYZ."

I'm still in the query trenches myself and have not seen a difference overall in personalizing vs not personalizing queries. Your guess is as good as mine as to how much it matters. I always do it when I can cite something specific like a #MSWL tweet, but I've gotten requests off queries where I didn't personalize.

It's a little of both. One essay talks about how an agent and author are supposed to work together to build a career, and he also is looking for a few new clients in my genres (and he also mentions that he loves being "transported").