At JacketFlap, a bunch of literary agents list the worst query lines they’ve received. These lists always seem a bit patronising but the examples are all recognisable. Part 3 is headed ‘Only include relevant, professional publishing credentials in your query’. That means you don’t write:
- My credentials for writing this book include: A divine mandate to speak the word of God.
- The best credentials I can share are the comments from my family and friends after they read my book.
- Please Google my name for more information.
- This isn’t my first published work, I have published 2 articles in G4S Pipeline Trade Publication.
- I have been writing since I could hold a crayon, and before that I used finger paints.
- I know 10 people who would buy this book right now!
- This is not representative of my best work.
- This is my first attempt at writing a fictional novel.
- I read this to the high school English class that I teach and they all agreed it was wonderful.
- I’m a real estate developer and you contacted me once in the past about a building or a home I had for sale at that time.
- Four paragraphs about your former career as a technical writer. Not one sentence about plot of book.
- The entire manuscript has been reviewed by both my writing mentor and a copyeditor and is ready for wide distribution.
- The manuscript is complete. It is 320 pages in Font 10 with 178,313 words. It has 36 chapters. I am not a professional writer.
- In a nutshell, I have no credentials.
Read the rest here.
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