From literary agent Sean McCarthy. What might be off-putting in a query letter to an agent?
One of my most frequently asked questions (right after “Do you really need all that ice cream?”) is how far I will read through a query letter before I decide if it will be a rejection. The truth is, I will almost always read through the entire query, but I usually have a good idea if I’m going to be leaning towards seeing more or passing on a project.
I know how hard it can be to write a query or pitch (it’s not my favorite thing to do either!), and I’m not necessarily looking to be blown away by just the query alone. In all my years of working in publishing, I can think of exactly one author that wrote such a perfect query letter that we were ready to offer representation on the spot. For everyone else, I’m just looking to get to know more about you, your…
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