Emailed Queries-Bad for Authors

self addressed stamped envelopeJust read a marvelous essay on writer psychology and snail-mailed rejections by Nick Ripatrazone in The Millions. Here’s a snippet and link:

“Miss You, SASE: On Postal Submissions

By  posted at 6:00 am on February 25, 2014 1

Ripatrazone’s article focuses primarily on submissions to literary magazines, but it brought to mind a thought that’s been hovering around back there for years: emailed queries hurt everyone but the environment. (I wonder if there’s an offset between the paper saved and electricity wasted?)

What we lost when we lost snail mailed queries: [Read more…]

Quick Question*
Should I Hire an Editor Before I Submit to Agents?

publishing questionsFive years ago I rarely encountered anyone who paid to get his work edited before submitting to agents and publishers. Now just about every writer I run into at conferences talks about “my writing coach” or “my editor.”

At the 2014 San Francisco Writers Conference last month I heard a very jarring question. The New York editors panel was asked: “Will traditional publishers insist on editing my book?” There’s so much wrong with that question, and this whole situation, it’s kind of hard to know where to start.

What bothers me is what’s behind these questions: a deep [Read more…]

Literary Agents Closed to Queries: Is the Sky Falling?

Literary Agents Closed to Queries:  Is the Sky Falling?

 Who knew?  I’ve just learned I led the literary agent crowd when I closed my doors to new queries several year ago (for me it was to find time to develop software and hang with my family).  But now I hear that’s the norm–yet another mega-contraction in the world of possibilities for the unpublished writer. (If I listen closely, I can hear the

[Read more…]

Query Letters #2: That First Sentence (or, Writers, it’s Attitude Adjustment Time)

Don Corleone

Query Letter Scans--It's Strictly Business

This is the Second Entry in Our Queries Series.

Literary Agents. Do. Not. Have. To. Read. Your. Query Letter.

I write this so stridently to reduce your anxiety.

Time and again I run into unpublished writers who believe, sincerely, that the literary agent’s job is to read and respond to to their unsolicited queries. This is NOT the agent’s reality.  The lit agent’s job is to effectively and collaboratively guide the careers of the clients who have hired her to represent them.  She is paid for this work, either [Read more…]