Monday, 6 February 2012

The Query Letter Experience

Do you know I queried hundreds of agents? (If you’re not a writer reading this, you’ll be bored out. So shu! Joking, stick around and see. If you a writer, skip this part and to the third paragraph) If you written a book, finished already, revised it with your blood and sweat (literally…), that’s the time you’ll make a query letter. When I first heard the words “query letter”, I said, “what in the world is that?!” and I found out… its… the…most stressful thing a writer could do. It is a letter for selling your book to a literary agent. First of all, you should be concise with it. Second, each agent differ in how they like a query letter would be (by that, you’ll revise it again for hours). And third… It sucks. I don’t have the guts to admit it back then but it really do sucks. Some writers take classes just to perfect their query letter writing.
 But maybe, I sucked too. I don’t know, but no agent had accepted my story… or its just I’m just querying all the NY agents which is really hard to please… I don’t know. But I respect the agents either way. They filtered the greats.
I have been rejected not once, not twice, but worse. Agents will reject you if they don’t like the plot of your book (obviously). But that’s too general, so I created factors that leads to query rejection (original title: Factors that leads to writer depression and unbelieving to self after receiving a rejection letter)
  1. Your book/plot is not original (e.g. vampires, hunky guys, love struck girls, rip offs)
  2. Poor writing (poor writing of the query letter)
  3. Not direct to the point (e.g. you add your not wanted achievements. Remember agents don’t care… yet [they care if you sign a contract with them])   
  4. Addressing them wrongly (e.g. when you call a MR a MS)
  5. Querying an agent not in line with your genre.  
  6. The agent doesn’t want new clients.

(If you are a writer and queried, you already know all of these, maybe more.)
So if you got accepted, feel triumphant and treat me an iPad 2. But if you got rejected… well… eat a lot of chocolates, it helps in my part. But don’t be down just yet, rejection is a part of life, it sucks big time but it helps you thrive. You can think of giving up but ask yourself “do I really need to give up”. Sadness after rejection is a process, you’ll be happy afterwards if you do what I do:
  1. Watch HBO and hope the movie is a funny one.
  2. Pat my dog and my cat
  3. Read a book
  4. Take a walk (I prefer nighttime, just so I can see the lights)
  5. Hang out with friends (<I don’t actually do this, but I think it helps)
  6. Read success stories

You have to know that I don’t know if any of the paragraphs above helps. But I hope it does. Even I’ll be publishing in kindle and other paid sites, I still want to hold my book physically, every writers dreams of that. But my dream is just to be published, even in digital form… because it’s better than nothing.   


  1. You don't always know why your query got rejected. It could be a multitude of reasons which you may have little or no control over. Most writers get rejected hundreds or even thousands of times before they get a yes. It can be a draining and grueling process, but don't take the rejections personally (easier said than done since it's your own work, but it's usually not personal and may not have anything to do with the quality of the writing or story).

    When you've gotten your rejections, do they list their reasons for turning you down?

    1. Well, actually, I researched agents and (really) some of them enumerated why they reject the queries, they reject because of poor research on what they represent and who they are. Some unpublished authors do query by quantity not by quality. They would put it like this "dear agent" and sent it as a mass query, agents don't like that. And I know its not personal, because I know its their job. I have much respect to them and I can list some agents that I love (but it'll be too long).
      Mind you, I almost got an agent at NY, but she's not accepting new clients (sob*). But I know the stress they are dealing with (receiving hundreds unsolicited letters a day, I cant take that), they read each and every one of the writer's queries and by the sound of it, they have a daunting task. But some of them also list why and how a letter stand out (Which I love).
      If you like you can go here (that, if you don't know this) . Its title is literary rambles (and its pretty weird i titled my blog Literary conquest. LOL. because I cant think of any... sob*). Its a wonderful blog, they post agents, their likes and dislikes, what they hate about queries, how to contact them and such. :D