When I began this writing journey, those already in the business offered much advice. A lot of it contradictory.
Some of the 'help' came from people who appear a bit touched in the head. Or Laughing Their Collective A** Off at the muck they caused.
“There is no such thing as a ‘query letter’,” snarled one literary agent.
“Here is a sample of a query letter,” said another literary agent.
A published author advised the following in a query:
BOOK TITLE, urban fantasy.
Another published author sniffed and suggested:
Book Title, an urban fantasy
Agents have their preferences. They are people too. Or so I’ve heard. But what about the agent who doesn’t detail exactly how they like their query?
It’s up to the lame-brained writer to decide; does the agent like their query shaken or stirred?
To personalize or not to personalize; that is the question. Actually, how in hell’s name do we write a personalized note to an agent who has no website? Or one whose last post was two years ago? Not much marketing going on there. And not someone who is high on my list.
Conspiracy. Sometimes I wonder if there is an industry-wide scheme to cause confusion. Just for entertainment purposes.
Agents, laughing uncontrollable, switching, and deleting information like format issues, rich text, HTML, page heading, title page, summary vs synopsis.
There is no such thing as ‘contemporary fantasy’. This came from a fellow writer even though I was submitting to an agent who wanted…yeah you guessed it, Contemporary Fantasy.
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, agents rolled their collective eyes at self-pub. With the success of so many in the industry, Amanda Hocking aside, I believe they see it a little differently. And we adjust even as the industry shakes like a dog emerging soaked from a pond.
Confused by sensory overload? TMI? Or are the little voices in your head laughing at you. pipe down, I told you not to say anything!