Friday, April 1, 2011

Writing Hint #13 - Balbo and Queries and Fun, Oh My!

Balbo Ohanzee: *clears throat*

Me: Oh no. I thought I had actually gotten rid of you.

Balbo Ohanzee: Never. I have been watching your posts closely and have remained silent, even when I felt I should speak up. But as the voice of reason on this blog, I –

Me: Enough. Why are you here?

Balbo Ohanzee: To keep you from doing something stupid. You are about to give out questionable –

Me: *blinks* What are you talking about? Hey, stay out of my head! I had fun writing this post!

Balbo Ohanzee: I wouldn’t do this if I were you…

Me: Whatever.

On to my post…

There are so many people who want to know how to write a good query. I thought I would provide a sample here for your reading convenience:

Dear Literary Agent:

I got your name from an online list of agents. I am simultaneously sending this query to all the agents on that list. So if I were you,  I wouldn’t wait around on that offer of representation.

Anyway, I have written a novel that is sure to be the next bestseller. Really. Oh, you don’t believe me? Just you wait. This novel will make all the rest of that drivel out there look like the low-brow, ridiculous stuff it really is. Those published authors know nothing about writing. My work would blow theirs out of the water.

[Insert 2,000 word novel summary here. Be thorough. Tell the ending. Leave nothing unexamined. Be sure to outline even the smallest subplot.]

SUPER-DE-DUPER BESTSELLER, a contemporary fiction novel with a twist of fantasy, is complete at 300,000 words. I have attached the entire manuscript to this email. I expect to hear from you with that offer of representation within the next seven days. Remember, this query has gone out to every agent I could find. You better act fast. It would be in your interest to work for me.


Mistress of the New York Times Bestseller List

There you have it! A query that will have agents lined up on call-waiting wanting to offer you representation…..

Balbo Ohanzee: *muttering* I told you not to do that.

Me: *having too much fun* I would so do that again….

Do I even have to say April Fool’s? *grin*

If you really sent in a query like the one above, you would be rejected so fast that your head would spin right off your shoulders. If you would like to know how to write an actual query, always listen to the professionals – particularly the agents reading your query. See this post for links to some websites that will tell you the “do’s” and “don’ts” in detail.

Happy Querying!


  1. I have started querying. It started about two weeks ago. I've sent out 12, received 4 form rejections back but I'm still hitting the ground running. I think it's important to go with your gut. Especially while querying.

    Great blog! Nice to meet you! Hope you'll stop by my place for a visit.

  2. Welcome to the blog, Jen! :)

    Congrats on beginning the query process. Stick with it! Good luck!

    I am glad you are enjoying the blog. Stay tuned for a companion post to this one. I will be addressing some of the big "no-no's" committed in this query.