Nathan Bransford, Author


Monday, April 13, 2009

Be An Agent for a Day: Query #11

This query is part of the Be an Agent for a Day contest. Rules and Regulations here

Please post your rejection or manuscript request in the comment section!



Dear Agent for a Day,

There are all kinds of prisons - some with bars and some no better than cages. There are the state, federal, and county kind and then there are the worst kind of all. These are called "the past."

The past can imprison us as surely as any four-walled structure. The past can cause us to become stifled within its limiting, restrictive barriers until we begin to suffocate. We find we can never grow, learn or stray from the prison it creates around us. Its boundaries continue to separate us from life by flooding our minds with images that haunt us, situations that we can never seem to overcome and by carving out of us an unsettling void that leaves us ill-equipped to leave it behind. In its wake, we live a lonely, often solitary confinement where we are left with pieces of ourselves that we hold in our trembling hands. We are left to wonder how we can glue the pieces back together - and whether that's even possible.

This is kind of prison that John Michaels finds himself living - and dying - in. He is the sympathetic protagonist in this 65,000 word contemporary suspense novel called The Release. John Michaels is the survivor of a childhood filled with brutal, merciless beatings suffered at the hands of his father. These violent attacks were made all the worse by the fact his numbed, heartless mother stood idly by and watched. The story follows John as he matures and tries to find his place in what we sometimes laughingly call society - as if a true society would tolerate such violence on one so young. With no coping mechanisms in place and no way to internalize his brutalization, we watch helplessly as John falters and stumbles his way through life.

I graduated from The University of Texas in May of 1997 with a degree in journalism. While at the university, several of my articles received The Almay Award for Excellence in Journalism.

I chose to submit my novel for your consideration after seeing that you had interest in this particular genre, especially after you pointed out that Robert Pierce's novel, The Escape, was one of your favorite reads. Not only did I read the book, but found it similar to mine in that it shows the struggles of a young man trying to escape the horrors of an abusive past.

Upon request, I am prepared to send the completed manuscript.

Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Author

STATS: 2% request rate






352 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   1 – 200 of 352   Newer›   Newest»
Megan said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, your book isn't right for me. You take too long to get to the conflict in your query, and the subject matter would have to have a strong voice to get me past its grimness. Agenting is subjective, though, and I wish you the best of luck!

Sincerely,
Megan

Sophie W. said...

Dear Author of The Release,

I have never read Robert Pierce.

Although your work shows merit, I cannot request further materials at this time. Keep in mind that this business is terribly subjective, and you'll probably get the chance to thumb your nose at me in the future.

Love,

Sophie

JSB said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission, however I will have to pass at this time.

Best of luck,

JSB

(The query has TOO much extra musing which has little to do with the actual book, so the paragraph about the book doesn't hold attention.)

Derek said...

Dear Author,

Sorry but this is not a book I could represent.

Agent For A Day.

EJ Lange said...

Author,

Thank you for submitting your query. Unfortunately, it is not right for me at this time.

Agent Erin

Agent X said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for taking the time to query. I'm afraid this isn't the right piece for me. I wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely,

Agent X

Matilda McCloud said...

Thanks for your query. I'm afraid I'll have to pass on this one.

Keep writing!

With my very best regards,

Matilda McCloud

reader said...

Pass.

I don't represent child abuse-themed books.

Best of luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I’ll pass on this one. Good luck in your endeavors.

Regards,

Lindsey S.

Suggestion: Cut to the chase.

hannah said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but this isn't right for my list at this time.

Best of luck,
hannah

Scott said...

Dear Author,

I'm sorry, but this isn't right for me.

Thanks,

Scott


(reason): the author clearly has an axe to grind but should do it by describing his character, not by injecting editorial comments in a query to make it too long anyway.

TheDivaAgent said...

Dear Author,

I like your relentless prose style. Please forward a synopsis and sample chapters. I'm not offering to walk down the aisle here, this is just a date. After that, we'll see.

Best wishes,

The Diva Agent

lesleylsmith said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your query letter.
Unfortunately, your novel is not a good fit for me.
Good luck!
-Lesley
p.s. This premise has some promise, but the long rambling letter was a turn-off; the letter might benefit from being shorter.

AgentMan said...

Dear Author,

Sorry, this felt more like a lesson than a query. Pass.

AgentMan

Anonymous said...

Dearest gentle reading Nathan,

I like this being an agent thingy.
Any way you could do this again, say each Monday perhaps? It's like Query fail but it's not, since everyone consented right? Why not release the hounds! (the rest of the queries, that way you could take a day off)

Plus this is a very effective teaching tool. A teachable moment they call it. And we can't complain, because we're the agents!
MOHHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Anyway, back to John boy,
Alas, I have to pass.

Agent XXX

OMG! my word verification was lation! it's like Latin, only it's not. What a name for a paranormal character L'ation. L'ation...L'ation...

terri said...

Thank you for your query, but I have to pass at this time.

A suggestion for future queries. The second paragraph is extraneous, depressing, and doesn't make me want to continue reading long enough to get to the actual plot. Considering deleting it in its entirety.

Sincerely: Agent

Steve Brezenoff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chanelley said...

Thank you for submitting your query. Unfortunately, it is not what I’m looking for at this time. However, do continue to query widely. After all, it does only take one agent to say yes!
All the best,
Agent for the day

ai-hua said...

Eyes glazed over reading query. Form rejection.

Bane of Anubis said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for submitting your story, but it's not for me. Best of luck,

Bane

(reasoning: I felt like there was too much explanation - need query to be more concise or more detail provided; I'd also like the hook to be a bit stronger. I like the author's investigation of agent's background - although the fact that he went to UT and I went to Rice and they constantly kick our arse in every sport except baseball makes me biased a bit - j/j :)

Monika said...

Thank you for your submission, but I do not think this project is right us. This is a subjective business and other agencies will feel differently. We wish you every success with your project.

Keri Ford said...

Thank you for submitting, but unfortunately I didn’t connect with this story idea.

Good Luck,
Keri


<><><><><><><>
Liked your first paragraph, it was your second that sent the form rejection. It was long and too deep for me to keep reading.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your query. I'm afraid this isn't quite right for me.

Agent99

Reasons: Whole first paragraph is fluff; no sense of voice or character.

Chuck H. said...

Dear Author,

I'm sorry to say this just didn't grab me. Good luck in your search for representation.

Sincerely,

Chuck

Word Ver: chant What's that mean?

Melina said...

Dear Author,

I often ask myself, would I read this book? If the answer is no(which it is), then it's not a book I can faithfully represent.

Best of luck,

Melina

A Gent said...

Dear Author,
Loved the first paragraph! Then lost all interest with the second. Sorry - not right for me.

Best,
A Gent

Jane doherty said...

Form rejection.

(Rambling query implies an unfocused writer who can't make a point.)

Kitti said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I regret to inform you that I am going to have to pass on this, but please keep me in mind for your future projects.

Best of luck,
Kitti

Anonymous said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, it isn't right for me.

Sincerely,
Agent for a Day

[There might be something worthwhile amidst all the ponderous lecturing, but I don't have the patience to try to tease it out. If the query were edited and re-submitted, perhaps to lead with the protagonist, it might be more effective.]

Onovello said...

Dear Author:

Many thanks for your query. While I'm not sufficiently enthusiastic about the project to request, I'm sure another agent will feel differently.

With best wishes for your success in finding representation for your work,

Onovello

PurpleClover said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
scj said...

Sorry but not for me. It sounds like you have an interesting idea, but the query went off on a tangent and I worry the manuscript would be like that too. Best of luck.

bukarella said...

Dear Author:

Unfortunately, your submission does not fit my interests at the time.

The first two paragraphs do not tell me anything about your story. Even as I’m done reading the query, I am still uncertain what events will take place in this book. I am looking at a set-up, and have no clear grasp on the plot.

Best of luck,

Lyudmyla M.

Karen said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query.

Your premise sounds very intriguing but I will have to pass at this time.

On a personal note, I would suggest that you tighten up the description of your novel. While this project is not for me, I believe that you will find a good home with another agent, and it would be easier to do so with a more streamlined query.

Best of luck to you,
Karen

jimnduncan said...

Thank you for querying, but I'm afraid I will be passing on your story. Best of luck in your continued endeavors.

(Reason: You lost me before you got to the actual description of the story, and unless this is YA, the word count is too low)

Nixy Valentine said...

Dear Author:

I'm sorry, but I am not the right agent for your book.

Notes: The first two paragraphs should be condensed into one or two sentences. No need to beat us over the head with the concept. Watch overuse of adjectives: brutal, merciless, violent, heartless... I think your query would be stronger letting the action show and some of these don't need to be said. All beatings are violent. =)

Trix said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but I have to pass. Your subject depresses me. I can read the paper if I want to be depressed. What would make me want to get to know John Michaels better?

Best Regards,
Trix

Rick Daley said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your interest in The Authors Write Literary Agency. I have reviewed your query for The Release, and I’m sorry to say that I do not feel that I am the best agent to represent your work at this time.

Please keep in mind that there are many talented agents out there, and opinions are subjective based on individual preferences, workload, and market climate.

Don’t be afraid to research other agents and query those that you feel are best suited to represent your work. Best of luck!

Regards,

Daley Agent for a Day

David de Beer said...

Dear Author,

while there is merit in your chosen theme it doesn't completely win me over and I'm going to pass this time. Please consider us again in future.

Regards,
David de Beer

PurpleClover said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for considering me for representation. At this time this isn't right for me.

Regards,
PC

Cat Hellisen said...

Dear Author

Thank you for your query.  Your proposal is interesting, but I don't feel that the project is quite right for me. I wish you the best of luck in finding representation elsewhere.

Best,
Cat.

Megan said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, I will have to pass at this time.

Best,

Meg Spencer

DeadlyAccurate said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your query and I apologize for this form reply.

I regret I have to pass on many interesting projects due to time constraints. I wish you the best of luck in securing representation elsewhere.


Sincerely,

DeadlyAccurate

Libby Martin said...

Dear Author:
Thank you for your query. Your query, in my opinion was well written although a bit long. However, I find this interesting, and I'm curious to see how it is presented in the end. Please send the first fifty pages, along with the original query to libbymartin@muserliterary.com.

Have a fabulous day!

Love,
Libby

jjdebenedictis said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your recent query; discovering new talent is one of the joys of being a literary agent, and I am always honoured to have the opportunity to read a writer's best work.

Please accept my regrets, however, as I won't be offering to represent this novel. I apologize for informing you of this using a form letter, but the volume of mail I receive makes it impractical for me to give personalized rejections.

I wish you the very best luck in finding a literary agent whose enthusiasm will bring your book the success it deserves!

Sincerely,
J. J. DeGoblin

~~~~~~~
For your reference, here are the most common reasons why I decline certain queries. Please note that if your submission was very good, my reasons for rejecting it were probably much subtler than the items on this list and cannot be put quickly into words. Again, I apologize for this form letter, but I cannot invest the time to critique those submissions I have chosen to not represent. Thank you for your understanding.


Most common reasons why I decline manuscripts:

[ ]--The manuscript is in a genre which I don't represent

[ ]--The query appears to be a non-personalized mass mailing

[ ]--The query/manuscript's presentation was worryingly unpolished
(E.g. Many spelling, grammar, punctuation or homophone errors; a non-standard format)

[ ]--The writing doesn't seem polished enough
(This improves with practice; your next novel may be excellent)

[ X ]--The plot doesn't sound compelling enough
(Again, this improves with practice and self-education)

[ ]--The plot sounds too similar to something book-buyers have already seen


Comments, if any:
This could be a very powerful read, but your query doesn't give me the sense that the story has a strong narrative. Also, based on your blurb, I fear the novel might tend toward "preachiness", which doesn't mesh well with the suspense genre.

KC in SF said...

Thank you for your query, but I don't think I would be the right person to represent your work.

best wishes,

KC in SF

quixotic said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission, however, I do not feel excited enough about this story to request anything further.

Good luck in your search for an agent.

Quixotic

brian_ohio said...

Thank you for your query. I'm afraid this isn't right for me.

Best,

Brian

Thomas said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your submission, but your book is not appropriate for my current needs. I wish you luck in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,
Tally

DCS said...

Your goals in writing this novel are laudable; unfortunately I was not moved to read further.

Dara said...

Dear The Release,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately I do not think I am the right person for this book. I wish you success in your search for representation.

Best,

Dara

Specifics: Second paragraph completely threw off the rest of the letter. It took too long to get to the whole plot and conflict of the book. If it's that way in the letter, I can only assume it will be the same in the actual manuscript.

JuJu said...

Dear Author,

Though your premise sounds interesting, I'm afraid this project just isn't right for me. Keep in mind that the appeal of any work is entirely subjective.

Best Wishes,
JuJu

Lucy Ammunition said...

Dear Author,
Okay, there's the thing.
It's probably a stroke of luck for you too.
The thing is, there are so many queries coming in so fast and furious that I have to keep a little note pad next to me to know how where to scroll down and find the last one I got to.
Zowie-capowie!
With that in mind, I have been just going with what I like.
It's not that I shouldn't be more open minded, but I feel so completely unqualified and I have this GUILT. Man, it's really heavy too.
I think another agent might be in your best interest.
I'm not real.
Just a figment.
Really.

Best of luck,
definitely,

Lucy Ammunition
Fictitious Agent

Brigita said...

Thank you for sending me your query. Unfortunately, this project is not right for me. I wish you the best of luck in securing representation elsewhere.

Jeni said...

Dear Release,
Thank you for your query. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to review your proposal, and found the premise for your manuscript intriguing. However, I’m afraid that the manuscript does not meet my needs at this time. Please do continue to send your work to other agents, as someone else may feel differently.
Best of luck in your publishing endeavors,
Jeni

Laurie said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, I will have to pass. One suggestion might be to tighten the letter a bit and keep it focused on the plot without an excess of editorializing.

That said, if there were sample pages, I would have read at least the first one.

Best of luck to you!
Laurie

Dorine White said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I'm afraid this isn't right for me.

Best regards,
Agent for a day

suki said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I'm afraid this project isn't right for me. I wish you luck in your search for representation.

Regards,
Suki


Reasoning: The query makes me think this manuscript would need tons of editing, if the premise itself holds together. I think the author should do some research on what is expected in a query. I also wonder from the stream of consciousness feel of the query if the manuscript could benefit from additional revision.

Lisa said...

Dear The Release:

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately it is not right for me. Another agent may feel differently. Best of luck.

Lisa R.

The paragraph about the past being a prison while well-written I felt bogged this query down.

selestial-owg said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. However, I do not feel I am the right agent for your work. Good luck with your search.

Selestial

Too long to get to the point of the book, and even then I felt like we got back story and no plot. Telling me he is a sympathetic protagonist is a turn-off as well. If the book itself doesn't show him that way, I won't believe it. Honestly though, the book just sounds too depressing for me.

PPP said...

Dear Author,

I find myself lacking the desire to share this mc's torturous journey. I also don't know what kind of a plot he is "stumbling" though.

Sorry.

Signed,
PPP

bridge said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your query. I'm afraid this isn't right for me.
Best of luck,
Bridge

On a personal note this just isn't right for me. It is too dark and depressing for my taste also seems quite short for a work of this genre. so I would pass just based on subject matter.

ccallicotte4 said...

Thank you for sending me your query. I appreciate you considering me.

I reviewed your proposal and unfortunately am going to pass on representing it. Please keep in mind that this is a subjective business, and another agent may feel differently. I encourage you to query widely.

Best of luck to you.

Gryph said...

Dear Author,

Thank you very much for your query. While I appreciate the time and effort you've put into your work, I don't believe this is a good fit for me.

Please remember that what doesn't fit one agent may well fit another! I encourage you to not give up. In the future, if you have other manuscripts to query, I hope that you'll think of me again.

Sincerely,

Agent Gryph

Eva Ulian said...

Although yours is a subject many could find empathy with, I feel it is concentrated on the theory of the matter and does not show the action, therefore I suggest you review your query along those lines and then re-submit.

romoak said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. While aspects of this story are intriguing, this story is not right for me at this time. Best of luck to you in your continued efforts. Please keep in mind that other agents are different.

-- There are some interesting tidbits in here, but the first two para's are way too much. I don't care about the past, or how some people feel - only the MC and what makes his personal story intersting. Give me specifics, not generalizations. I'm not sure I would have gotten past the first two para's to get to the info if I was a real agent.

Tamara said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, this project isn't for me.

Best wishes,
Agent for a Day
(Tamara)

Jenn Johansson said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, I'm afraid this isn't right for me. I felt the beginning of the query was too vague and took too long to get to the point.

Best of luck!
JR

Caroline said...

Dear Author:

It seems that you spent too much time on the theme of the novel, and not enough on the plot of the novel itself. Also, this genre isn't something that interests me.

Best of luck,

Agent Caroline

Christine Rose said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but this isn't right for me at this time.

Best of luck,
Agent for a Day

Bija Andrew Wright said...

This isn't right for me. Thanks for considering me, and good luck with other agents.

Melissa said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for sending me your query, but I don't think I'm the right agent for the book. Best of luck.

Melissa

Thoughts: This might be a really good book, but the query isn't quite tight enough.

Anonymous said...

The writer's style just doesn;t work for me. It's the tone. The formal tone just prevents me from connecting with and caring about the protagonist. so:


Dear author,
Your manuscript is just not right for me. Thanks for querying.

sincerely,
moniza

beth said...

Dear Author,

Although I appreciate your submission, I'm sorry but it just isn't for me. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

Sincerely,
beth

(Reasoning: Query too long and boring.)

Casey said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your time and consideration. Unfortunately, I’m afraid I’m not the right agent to represent THE RELEASE.

You might consider revising you query to be more tight and concise. The entire second paragraph, while well written, is unnecessary in a query.

Best wishes,

Casey

lilianamama said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your interest in the "Be An Agent For a Day" contest. I suggest you attempt to use text from your story that displays your skill as a fiction author. Show rising tension, arc, resolution and conclusion and if at all possible, how your main character changes throughout the book. Do not continue for two paragraphs about the state of prisons as I thought this was a non-fiction query.

I wish you all the best.

:)Ash said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your interest in my agency. Unfortunately, I do not feel I am the right agent for you at this time. Best wishes as you continue your search.

Sincerely yours,

:)Ash

sirayn said...

Dear X,

Thank you for your query. I’m afraid I have to pass, but I wish you luck in finding an agent who’s passionate about your work.

Today’s Agent

(Reasoning: query too long because you spent the first nearly 200 words with vague generalisations about how the past can be a prison. Nearly didn't read on after that. The entire query is distant: you've inserted a hypothetical audience between us and the protagonist, so we're not really feeling the protagonist's emotions - however loudly you insist that we WILL feel bad for him. Form reject.)

Chrissy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission, but it isn't what Im looking for at this time. Good luck with your publishing endeavors.

Kiki

Ulysses said...

Thanks for submitting your query. Unfortunately, I don't feel I am the agent to represent this work.

John said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for giving me the chance to consider your work. Unfortunately, it's not something I think I can sell at present. I wish you the best of luck in your writing career.

K. Andrew Smith said...

Dear author,

Thank you for your submission, The Release. Unfortunately, it's not quite right for me. I wish you good fortune in your quest for an agent.

Sincerely,

K. Andrew Smith

Harsh Critic said...

Your word count is low, yet your query letter is written in a wordy style. I'm worried there's not enough happening plot-wise in the manuscript to keep my interest.

Sorry, not for me.

Cindy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for considering me for representation, however this project does not fit my current needs.

All the best,
Cindy

Cat said...

Dear Author,

thank you for submitting but it's not right for me.

Sincerely,
Cat

form rejection because there is nothing unique here.

The Classic Carol said...

Dear Author:
Thanks for your query. It is our top priority to select what best matches our agency. We wish you success as you pursue an agent better suited to your work.

Renee Collins said...

Dear The Release,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, I am going to pass.

Best of luck,

Renee

Amy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for thinking of me, your novel The Release sounds interesting but it's not for me at this time.

Good luck with your search for an agent.

Kind regards,

amyandnick

Belinda Frisch said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. However, I am not able to offer representation at this time.

Best Wishes,
Belinda

Owl Sprite said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for sending me your query for "The Release." Unfortunately, it doesn't meet my needs at this time.

Best wishes in your search for representation,

(There may be a good story here, but I couldn't find it. The query was too long, and didn't give me enough details about John himself to make me think he's unique and worth reading about. He sounds like a stereotype.

Can you flesh him out a little? Give me a reason to want to read more? I don't sense any tension here - no critical plot point on which the story hinges. What kicks off the action in this book? Answering these questions will make this query better.)

Don said...

[form rejection]

super agent nicole said...

Dear author,

Thank you for taking the time to submit a query. Unfortunately, I will have to pass on your work due to time constraints. I was not pulled in immediately by your query; I felt that you took a bit too long to get to the point. Also, please do not compare your work to my favorite book. Saying that you have a common thread is alright; saying that they are "very similar" is pushing it.

Thank you,
NIcole

Rick said...

Author-

Sorry, but while I do represent suspense/thrillers, and might enjoy reading this work published one day, I'm going to pass. I will say that it sounds interesting, it's just not for me.

If you have not already, you may want to check out AgentQuery. It can help you find an Agent who best suits your needs.

http://www.agentquery.com/

Sincerely,
Rick O

Craven said...

Thank you for consideration, but this isn't right for me at this time.

Best of luck, Craven

Barbara Webb said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for sharing THE RELEASE with me, but I am going to pass.

Best of luck,

Barbara

Laura said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but the subject is not a good fit for me.

Best of luck,

Agent Laura

p.s. Scratch the first two paragraphs and get to the heart of the novel, and I think you'll have better luck. :)

sraasch said...

Dear Author,

Not my genre. Sorry!

Thanks!

Madison said...

Dear Author,

Thank you so much for submitting your work and considering me to represent it. While the story sounds quite interesting, I am afraid it does not fit my list at this point in time and I must regretfully pass. I know rejections can be hard to take, but please keep submitting and following your dream.

Best of luck in your agent hunt!

Sincerely,

Madison

Reason for rejecting: I want an MC I can route for. Already the author has told me that we watch him "helplessly". This does not sound like an interesting read as I dislike pity parties. Also, the author uses the word "dying" in reference to the MC. I do not believe in killing off an MC.

thelifter said...

Dear Author:

Nothing especially original jumps out at me here, but the main problem with your query is that's too much angst and not enough story. Cut the clever opening, the tired prison metaphor and requery with an emphasis on the story you're telling, which means you need to tell me about one of these supposed stumbles.

Regards,

Mr. Snark

Brian Crawford said...

Thank you for sending me your work. Unfortunately, I must reject it. Don’t feel bad; I receive about 2,000 queries per week, and reject 99.99% of them. Assume I’m wrong about you. Don’t give up. In the meantime, increase your chances of success by downloading my e-book, “Kick-ass Queries,” available on my website for only $199.99.

Amy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. I am going to have to pass on this query. You may wish to revise your query before sending it out to other agents; the second paragraph is unnecessary and raises suspicions about a lack of focus in the manuscript itself.

Sincerely,
Amy

Anonymous said...

Dear Author

Thank you for your recent letter concerning your work. I am afraid that we are not enthusiastic enough about your work to pursue it further.

We wish you the best of luck in finding suitable representation.

Sincerely
The Fake Agency

Cat Moleski said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your submission, however, I must pass on your project at this time.
Cat

Moth said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting your query to Moth's Literary Agency. While your story sounds interesting, I'm afraid it's just not right for us. Best of luck in your writing career.

Sincerely,
Moth

Lois Lavrisa said...

Dear Author,

While I appreciate your consideration of our agency, I will have to pass on your project.
I am sorry to say I did not have the passionate response to it that I would need to request more or offer you representation. Obviously you want an agent who will stand enthusiastically behind your work.

Additionally, given today’s publishing climate I do not believe I would be able to get you the attention from a publisher that your book deserves.

Publishing is very subjective, though, and another agent may well feel differently.

I do wish you success in finding representation and, once again, thank you for the opportunity to consider your work.

Sincerely,

Lois Lavrisa
Agent for a day

EMC07 said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your submission. I sense there is a good story in your query somewhere, but I have failed to find it. I was a bit bogged down by the length of this. I will have to pass at this time.

Sincerely,
emc

Steve Axelrod said...

Thanks for your query but I must pass.

dhole said...

Dear Author, while this shows a lot of promise, it's not quite right for me at this time. Yrs, etc.

~Jamie said...

DA:

I am afraid I must pass at this time.

Thanks,
~Jamie

(I am passing because this query is too long and I have more stuff to read. But if the query were tightened up, then I probably would have read more.)

Jenn S. said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. It's not right for me, but please keep me in mind for future submissions.

Regards,
Jenn S.


(Reason: I didn't enjoy the philosophizing at the beginning because I wanted to know what the plot was. However, the plot didn't appeal to me. Humans can do horrible things to each other, but that truth does not in itself make such a story worthy of reading. I want to see John gain a measure of healing in this book, learning to deal with his past, and I saw no indication of that happening. Plus: the query states that this is a suspense novel, but there's no suspense in the plot summary.)

The Writers Canvas said...

Thanks for your query, but it's not right for me at this time. Best of luck to you in your writing endeavors!

Elaine

Jenn S. said...

Following up on my last comment: when I said "that truth does not in itself make such a story worthy of reading," what I meant was "does not...make for enjoyable reading." I felt that this book was too dark for me to enjoy.

Ramen with cheese said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for allowing RJM Agency to consider your work, but I’m afraid it’s not a good fit for our list. We wish you every bit of luck in your search for representation.

RJM

Nik said...

Thank you for your query, but I'm going to have to pass at this time.

Reasoning: A query needs to be quick and attention getting and by the time I finished reading it I had forgotten what the story was about. It got lost in the details of what the past is.

Anonymous said...

Dear Author,
I received and read your query. I'm going to pass.

I do like your tone. I'd suggest tightening the query up. The detail is great later, but in the query, I'd suggest a tighter hook.

Best to you,
Agent SCL

bookshop said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your recent submission. I regret that I am unable to offer you representation at this time. I wish you luck in your search for representation.

Regards,

Bookshop

_________

(Hi! Here's where your query really should have started to be effective: "John Michaels is living - and dying - in prison." Introduce your character to us immediately. Then don't go on tell me that he *is* sympathetic, show me who he is and what he's doing. Create sympathy within me as a reader.

You need to take some time to figure out the crux of your plot. Get that down as quickly and efficiently as possible, and save your philosophical points for your novel itself. They aren't for the query. :)

Good luck!)

Other Lisa said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately it's not what I'm looking for. Best of luck in your search for representation, and keep writing!

Hilabeans said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to consider your work. I regret to say that I don’t feel that I’m the most appropriate agent for this project.

Best wishes,

HHS

Barb said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. Please send me your full manuscript for further consideration.

Kind regards,
Barb

Kristi said...

Thank you for your query. I don't feel this is right for me but I wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely,
Kristi

Dawn G. said...

Dear Author,

Unfortunately, I am unable to offer you representation at this time. Thank you for submitting your work for consideration. Please keep me in mind for future projects.

Kindest Regards,

D. Agent

Steph said...

Dear You,

Thanks for querying, but I'm going to pass. Your query is on the wordy said, and could use tightening. Opinions vary greatly in this business (et al), and you should query widely. Best of luck!

Steph

Tryst888 said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting your query but I'm afraid I will have to pass on this one. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors.

Miss Lily said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for allowing me to read this query, but it's not right for me. Best of luck, and please keep me in mind for future projects.

Lily

Reason: Really wordy. I seem to be using that a lot, but less is more. It's harder to figure out what's going on in the query when it's describing various metaphores with prisons.

Endless Secrets said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, unfortunately it is not for me to say the least.

Best of Luck

-Lea

Heather said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but this is not for me.

Good luck,
Heather

Too much pontificating for me. Just get to the plot.

Kristine Overbrook said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but it’s not what we are looking to represent at this time.

Thank you,
Agent F A Day

This query should be trimmed a bit.

sally apokedak said...

Form reject. Sorry, I have no time to give feedback anymore.

KathyF said...

Dear Author of Query #11,

Thank you for your query, but THE RELEASE isn't right for me.

KathyF

Cary Louisa said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission, but I don't feel the project is right for me.

Thanks,
Cary

Cassandra said...

Dear Author,

I'm afraid that at this time I am unable to offer representation for your novel. This is purely a business decision, and unfortunately means that I must turn away many talented individuals. I encourage you to continue querying agents you think might be interested.

I appreciate your interest in Agent for A Day, and wish you every success in your writing career.



Regards,
Cassandra

SammyStewart said...

Form Rejection. This is more of a term paper than a query.

wickerman said...

Dear Author,

thank you for your query. The Release sound intriguing but i am afraid there is too little information about the novel here to judge it. I encourage you to revise your query and include more information about the novel. I would like a second look.

Best of Luck

The Wickerman

Nathan Bransford's Hairdresser

sKim said...

Thank you for sending us your original proposal. We regret that it doesn't suit our needs at this time. Best of luck to you.

Megan said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for taking the time to submit.

I regret to inform you that at this time I would like to pass on your book.

Although it sounds like it has some potential, I can't really connect with the characters; nor do I find myself wanting to know more. It needs some tightening. You also took way too long to get to the plot of the book.

Best of luck in the future,

Regards,
Agent for a Day, Bookworm Megs

Dana said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately I am not interested in representing this novel.

Regards,

Dana

Reasons: I got lost in the writing and while the premise was interesting, it sounds like it's been done before.

Agent KES said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting your query. Unfortunately, I am not able to offer you representation at this time. Best of luck,

Agent KES

Calli said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting The Release. Unfortunately, this novel isn't a good fit for me. I wish you luck in your continued writing endeavors.

Regards,
Calli
_____
(Side note on why: Too long to get to the novel itself, and the intro waxes far too melancholy. By the time the query got to the main character and the summary, I wanted to go read something -- anything -- more cheerful. Which the novel summary wasn't, either. Someone may buy it, but it just isn't my thing.)

Kavanaugh and Byrne's LA said...

Dear Author

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider your work at Kavanaugh and Byrne’s Literary Agency.

We do not feel that are the best match with this project.
We wish you every success with this and other ventures

Flower Kavanaugh

Horserider said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for allowing us to consider your work. I’m sorry to say that this is not something we are interested in at this time. We receive hundreds of submissions every week and, unfortunately, cannot take them all on. This is a very subjective business and I wish you luck on your journey to publication.

Sincerely,

Horserider Literary Agency

Gregory said...

Dear Author;

Form rejection.

Cordially,

Agent Gregory

[Reasons are those stated. Wordy, rambling query. Doesn't hook. Didn't read it far enough to see if there's any promise of redemption here.]

Kelly Guentner said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for the query. I regret to inform you that this is not the right work for me to represent at this time.

I wish you luck in your future writing career.

Sincerely,
Kelly Guentner

gwen said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your interest. Unfortunately, this project is not a good fit for me at the present time.

Regards,

Gwen

***

(Side note: while the query is beautifully written and the prose has some depth to it, I decided to decline this request for representation because the second paragraph was a bit too philosophical for my liking. It did not hook me into the story - it just seemed as though the author was thinking out loud. The story itself certainly sounds intriguing, but depressing. I prefer tales with a flicker of hope, and the query gave me a sense that the story focuses mainly on the upsetting events of the MC's life. Therefore, I could not faithfully represent this novel.)

Superfast said...

Thank you so much for your submission. Unfortunately, I don't feel I'm the right agent to represent your work.

Good luck and keep writing!

Tara Ryan said...

Dear Author,
Thank you so much for submitting your work to me. Unfortunately, The Release is not a good fit for me at this time. I wish you much luck in your writing endeavors.
Agent-for-a-day

StrugglingToMakeIt said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for querying me. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm the right agent to represent your work.

Best,

Agent

(The first two paragraphs could be cut.)

ikmar said...

Dear Author

Thank you for your query. Sorry, but it is not for me.

Sincerely,
Agent for the Day

Jen C said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for submitting your query to the Most Awesome Literary Agency Ever. I regret that, at this time, your project is not quite what I’m looking for. I wish you the best of luck in your continuing search for representation.
Sincerely,
Jen C.

Disgruntled Bear said...

Thank you for querying me. Unfortunately I am going to have to pass at this time.
I wish you the best of luck with another agent.

Sincerely,
Agent

Anonymous said...

No thank you. Best of luck in your endeavors.

-Agent Pro Tempore

BJ said...

I'm sorry. I'll have to pass. -- BJ

Reasons:
1) At 65,000 words, it isn't a commercial length.
2) I don't see a story here, and definitely not suspense. All I see is background. The plot seems to be his struggle to fit into society... why does he want to fit into this society? What choices does he have to make? What makes this - which seems like a psychological novel - a suspense novel?
3) The bitterness of the author shows through in 'as if any society would allow that'. It makes me think this must be a very personal novel to this author, which could mean the author may be too emotional about it to be businesslike. If I'm wrong about this, then the bitter words should be removed from the letter, so as not to give the wrong impression.

Note to author: There are interesting points in your letter, but no view of real plot or the specific challenges the character must meet and choices the character must make and live with.As a thought, consider this: why does your character *want* to fit into this society? What is he willing to do to this end? What must he sacrifice? The answers would tell us what we want to know.

Your novel could be Pulitzer Prize material, but we can't tell that from this query letter. Somehow, you have to show us.

Adam Heine said...

I'm sorry. This doesn't sound right for me. Thank you for submitting.

Annalee said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for the opportunity to consider your manuscript. I'm afraid it isn't right for me.

Regards,
-Annalee

-----------
Reason: This query needs to be tightened up a lot. For starters, I would cut the first two paragraphs entirely.

Melinda said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but unfortunately this project isn't right for me. Best of luck in your search for representation.

Sincerely,

Melinda

P.S. I couldn't get a clear sense of the plot. I'd consider cutting the second paragraph, and then provide some more specifics on how the MC "falters and stumbles his way through life" in the third paragraph.

Maricar said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your query. However, your work does not fit our publishing needs at this time. Best of luck.

Meg Trotter said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately I will have to pass. The story seems too grim and depressing for my tastes.
Best of luck elsewhere,

Megan

Jeanne Tomlin said...

Form rejection

CJK said...

Thank you for your query. I am not interested in further materials on this work. Good luck with your search for representation. CJK

Mira said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. Although I think your topic is very compelling and powerful, I'm having trouble discerning the outline of your story from your query. In particular, what is the arc and the ending? Is this a story of triumph over adversity? Or a warning story about the irrovocable damage done by child abuse?

Without knowing more, I would not be drawn to ask for additional material. However, a book about child abuse can both heal and awaken. I commend you for taking on such a difficult topic!

My very best wishes to you.

Mira

Soratian said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but I'm afraid I'll have to pass on this.

While you seem to have a strong writing voice, I don't have a strong sense of plot and story, and it's particularly missing a hook for me e.g. opportunity for escape?

Good luck in your search for an agent.
Soratian

(Additional comments: I feel that you can cut out the whole of para 2. You shouldn't need to tell us the themes of the story. These should come out strongly through the story.)

Katy said...

Your writing shows promise, but the subject matter is not right for me at this time. Consider revising your query letter before submitting to other agents.
Best of luck,
Katy

Eden said...

Thanks for the opportunity but I'm afraid I'll have to pass on representing this piece.

Best of luck with your writing.

~Eden

Patti K. said...

Thank you for your submission. I do not believe that your work fits my needs at this time. Good luck in your quest for the perfect agent!

Polenth said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. As your story didn't resonate with me, I'm going to have to pass. Other agents might feel differently, so please don't cry! Good luck with your future submissions.

--
Polenth

Leslie said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. The literary market for the subject of child-abuse is quite limited so I will not be able to represent this particular book. I wish you all the best in your publishing endeavors.

Best wishes, Leslie

Pap said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your interest in my agency. However, I will not be requesting any further materials from you at this time. Please note that submissions are a very subjective business and my comments are not a critique on your writing ability. I strongly encourage you to continue your search for an agent and wish you all the best.

Your sincerely,

Make-believe Agency

MK said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for your submission. After careful consideration, I've decided this manuscript isn't for us at this time.

Good luck with your search.

Best,
Agent For a Day

Mystery Robin said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission, but I am not the right agent for this book. Best of luck!

Robin

PS I actually liked the query, but the subject matter is just too dark for me. Please keep me in mind for future projects.

Melanie K said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, THE RELEASE is not right for me but I wish you the best in your search.

Sincerely,

Melanie

REASONS: *The second paragraph was too much/too preachy, trying to hard to make sure we got the point. I found myself fighting to stay in there to read the third para.
* I don't like being told that I'm going to watch helplessly as someone suffers. If it feels that unrelentingly desperate, I have to close the book. I don't like closing books.

I'm sorry

Sage said...

Dear Release,

Your character sounds intriguing, but I wasn't sold on the strength of the plot. Another agent may feel differently.

Thanks,
Sage

Selene said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for contacting Selene Literary. After careful consideration, we regret to inform you that this project is not right for us. We wish you the best of luck in finding an agent that is as enthusiastic about this book as it deserves.

Best regards,
Selene Da Agent
Selene Literary

Julie Weathers said...

Dear Author,

There were interesting points in your submission, but I’m afraid I can’t offer representation. This is a subjective business, and what appeals to one reader doesn’t always appeal to another. With my current workload, I have to be very discriminating and take on only projects I am passionate about.

I urge you to continue your quest to be published and wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely,

J.M. Agent

(You need to get straight to the point of what the story is about. It would have to be something really outstanding to rise above the trapped in an abusive past plot. Unfortunate, since I think you have skills as a writer.)

Sol said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your letter. Although I feel sorry for your main character I am unable to request a partial at this time.

Kind regards,

Sol Nima

Nay said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query.
I will have to pass on this project, but best of luck to you.

-Nay

theflightytemptress said...

Dear The Release,

Thank you for your submission, but unfortunately it’s not for me. Publishing is a very subjective business, though, and another agent may feel differently. Best of luck on your continued search.

The hook was good, but you lost me after "There are the state, federal, and county kind and then there are the worst kind of all. These are called "the past."" I think you're trying too hard to sound literary here. If it's suspense, don't give me a sermon.

Yours,

Kat Brauer

Joy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission and your interest in using me as an agent. After taking some time to consider your material, I have decided that this isn't right for me.

Best of luck in your writing endeavors,

Joy

Tip: I'd skip the second paragraph and jump right into the next one. "the past" pretty much sums up what you're trying to explain in the second paragraph. Sounds interesting, just a little too heavy for me.

Annie said...

I'd pass.

Reason: this query makes me go 'huh'? What is this about? There is a lot of rambling, but no clear story line.

Jessumby said...

Dear Author

Thank you for sending me your query. I regret to inform you that it does not suit the needs of my list at this time.

Regards, Jessumby

writtenwyrdd said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your submission, but your book is not appropriate for my current needs. I wish you luck in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,
Agent


Reason: The query didn't grab me, didn't tell me about the story of John Michael's release from that prison of the past. I'd recommend cutting the first two paragraphs and most of the third, then beginning with "John Michaels lives in the prison of his past," and telling us what, exactly, the plot issue is that your protagonist must deal with. That's your story, and it could be very compelling. I just don't see it in the query yet.

K.D. said...

Dear Author,

Thank your for your query. Unfortunately, I don't think your project sounds right for me.

Sincerely,

Agent K.D.

thin said...

Dear Author,
While it seems like an interesting premise for a book, I'm sorry to say that I cannot take on the project. Thank you for considering me, and best of luck in the future.
Sincerely,
Thin

RW said...

Dear Author:

Thank you very much for your query. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to consider your work for representation. As you know, it’s a competitive market these days, and I don’t believe I have the right relationships to sell this project successfully. I do wish you luck in finding an agent and thank you for considering me.

Yours truly,

RW

Janny said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for querying me with THE RELEASE. I'm afraid this book isn't right for me, but I wish you the best of luck in your writing endeavors.

Sincerely,
Janny

kdrausin said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. I was intrigued by your query however at this time my client list is full. Please continue to seek representation. You are on the right track.

I wish you luck on your writing journey.

Sincerely,

KDrausin (I liked how you compared thoughts of the past with being in prison. I never looked at it that way before, but I agree. Have you been reading Eckhart Tolle?)

Poppy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. I am afraid that your work is not right for me at this time, however I would urge you to continue to submit to other agents: this is a subjective business.

Agent

Kats said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, unfortunately The Release is not the right project for me.

Best,
Agent for the Day, Kats

Deniz Bevan said...

Thank you for your query, but I wouldn't be the right agent in this instance.
I wish you luck finding the right home for your work.
Sincerely,
Ms Agent Agency

Mercy Loomis said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for querying me on your novel The Release. I regret that I am unable to represent you at this time.

Sincerely,
Mercy Loomis

Feedback:
I'd recommend having just one paragraph to describe your novel. You could cut the first two paragraphs down to "The past can imprison us as surely as any four-walled structure, and this is exactly the kind of prison that John Michaels finds himself living - and dying - in."

Your phrase "as if a true society would tolerate such violence on one so young" makes me think this novel might be a soapbox in disguise. Personally I don't like soapboxes.

Also, what about the ending? Are we just watching John spiral into oblivion, or is there some hope of redemption?

I LOVE the last half of your query letter. It's exactly as it should be. Just tighten up your summary and I think you will have a very competitive query on your hands!

Sun Up said...

Dear Author,

This book sounds as if it may have promise, but it didn't fully grab me and I'm sitting on the fence about it right now. Please send me the first five pages of your manuscript and we'll go from there.

sincerely,
Alicia

Sarah Laurenson said...

Form Rejection.


Lots of melodrama. The query makes this sound like it drags and is a very self-pitying 'woe is me' story. I'm not seeing a good hook here.

Jabez said...

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, I do not believe I am the best agent to represent your manuscript. Best of luck in your quest for publication.

Jenn said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but unfortunately your story is not for me at this time.

Sincerely,
Fake Agent

Too much "stuff" before getting to the actual book. It made me think that the book might be too preachy. I want to read a good story, not a lecture.

Dale - Las Vegas said...

Thank you for your submission but it doesn't seem right for me at this time.

Good luck in the future.

Heather Harper said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. After careful consideration, I regret that I’m unable to request your manuscript at this time.

Best,
Agent for a day

Sherry Ficklin said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for thinking of me, but I'm going to have to pass. Best of luck finding another agent!

Sincerely, Agent Faux

Janeal C. Falor said...

Thank you for the opportunity to look at you work. Unfortunately, I don't feel this is the right project for me.

Lipstick Lizzie said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for the chance to look at your work. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m the right agent for this project.

Best of luck,
Lizzie

Tree said...

Dear Author:
I want to thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to consider your work. Unfortunately, I did not connect well enough with your project to pursue it further. As I'm sure you know, agenting is a very subjective business. Although your project didn't fit with my particular list, another agent may respond very differently.
Please accept my best wishes for success in your writing career and finding the perfect advocate for your work.
Sincerely,
Tree

educlaytion said...

Thanks for your submission, but I will have to pass. I think your query is great, but I'm not interested in this type of work. Best of luck.

cwsherwoodedits said...

Thank you for your query. I'm going to have to pass.

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