This summer our agency got a lot of queries and submissions. Literally thousands. We saw some good, some bad, and some that needed a lot of work.
Ready to submit to an agent yourself. Double check to see if you're doing and avoiding the following:
FIRST SOME DEFINITIONS!!!!
What is a Query? A one-page letter that introduces the story idea and yourself to the agent or publisher.
What is a Proposal? A packet of materials that gives the agent/publisher all the information he/she needs to know about the book such as marketing plan, comparable titles, and author platform.
Do you research on the agent/publisher, some have specific guidelines.
Keep the query to one page and keep the proposal as tight as possible.
Use spell check and check your grammar before submitting.
Show your query to Beta readers or writer friends beforehand. They can help you hone it to be in the best possible shape it can be.
Provide all the information you can about how your platform is tied to the book. Even small avenues still count as avenues
Lots of research about which books are similar to yours, especially if they are recent titles that have done well in the market. At least three titles.
Address the query to “Dear Sir/Madam”
Send a genre the agent or publisher doesn’t accept.
Write a love letter to the agent.
Send a proposal unless asked to do so.
Send multiple emails.
Attach every agent and his or her brother in the email. If they see 200 recipients, they will delete.
Say “What is platform?” or try to degrade your platform.
On the flipside, don’t be too arrogant
Agencies and houses know you’ve worked hard to get where you are, but don’t act like they are doing favors by taking you on. They want it to be a partnership for a long time, not a King-Vassal sort of relationship.
And above all else … don’t compare your book to Harry Potter