Agent & Querying Tip of the Week: Agents’ Pet Peeves


As usual, today’s tips come from the 2011 Guide to Literary Agents.

Agents’ Pet Peeves

The following are mistakes from writers that agents see on a daily basis. Here are things to avoid when you are querying:

1. Misaddressing Agents on Query Letters.

The correct salutation is “Dear Ms. or Mr. Agent Last Name.” Not “Dear Agent First Name Last Name”, “Dear Agent First Name”, “Dear Agent”, or worse, “Dear Sir/Madame/Whom It May Concern.”

2. Submitting Work to Multiple Agents at the Same Time.

While this may seem like a good idea, it will most likely backfire.

“When introducing your work (or yourself) to an agent, show you are ready for the literary marketplace by selecting your agent candidates with a serious and intelligent eye. Sending to multiple agents scattershot does not attract their attention, If your e-query doesn’t end up in the trash, it’s likely stuck in a spam filter,” says Katharine Sands.

3. Using your Query Letters to Link Agents to Websites.

If you send a query full of links explaining yourself and your work, it’s going to turn agents off. The point of a query is to hook your agent’s attention by WRITING, not posting a bunch of links.



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