Nathan Bransford, Author


Monday, April 13, 2009

Be An Agent for a Day: Query #18

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:

My novel Paranoid starts out in the familiar classic mode: an innocent person stumbles onto a conspiracy so huge and terrifying that he can't go to the police without proof: they would just assume he was insane. So he has to fight a shadowy, diabolical organization -- alone and on the run -- while the conspirators chase him down. It sounds like any one of a dozen thrillers, from North by Northwest to Three Days of the Condor. But there’s a crucial difference: the hero of Paranoid really is crazy. Three quarters of the way through the book that becomes undeniably clear. The President of the United States has not been 'replaced by an impostor'; the President's son is not the only one who can rescue the country from a Devil's bargain with the mafia. No, the President's son is actually a paranoid schizophrenic. He also happens to be a trained killer with an intimate knowledge of the life and habits of the leader of the free world. In the other words - the perfect assassin.

For the reader, this revelation punches every expectation inside out: the hero is suddenly the villain; the sinister agents trying to bring him down are in fact the Secret Service ... the good guys. And of course the final twist, revealed through a few bars of music whistled during a televised interview with the President, is that even paranoids have real enemies. And sometimes it takes a crazy guy to save the world.

The novel is complete at 92,000 words. I’ll be happy to send all or any part of it, if you’d like to take a look.

Thanks,
Author

STATS: 5% request rate






339 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   1 – 200 of 339   Newer›   Newest»
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

Jeni said...

Dear P.,
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

ai-hua said...

Not for me; form rejection.

PurpleClover said...

Dear Author:

Your manuscript shows some promise but it is not something I can represent at this time. Please consider me for future projects.

Regards,
PC

brian_ohio said...

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

Best,

Brian

Sophie W. said...

Dear Author of Paranoid,

Although your work shows merit, I cannot request further materials at this time. Your premise reminds me very much of a novel a client of mine has been working on. 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

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

David said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your submission, but your project doesn't sound right for me.

Sincerely,
David

PPP said...

Dear Author,

I have to admit, I think I'd be disappointed if I were rooting for a guy who turned out to be nuts, and if the conspiracy theory I believed in turned out to be bogus.

But you know who might like this? Nicholas Cage. I'll forward this onto him for you.

Signed,
PPP

Derek said...

Dear Author,

This is a clever premise, but I don't feel strongly enough about it to want to represent your work. Thank you,

Agent For A Day.

kdrausin said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for requesting my representation. I applaud your determination and effort in completing your novel. Your story is not right for me at this time; however I encourage you to keep writing and pursuing excellence in your craft.

I wish you the best of luck on your journey.

Warm Regards,

KDrausin

KC in SF said...

thank you for your query. I think you have a fascinating premise but I am not able to offer representation at this time.

best wishes,

KC in SF

Cicily said...

Thank you for your query, although you have an interesting premise, I'm going to have to pass at this time. Please keep me in mind for further works.

~Cicily

jimnduncan said...

Thank you for taking the time to query me, but I'm afraid I must pass on your story. Best of luck in your continued writing endeavors.

(reason: while there is potential for this, the query makes it sound like the reader will be bored and put the book down before they get the uniqueness of the premise)

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

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. Perhaps it's not a good idea to say 'it sounds like every other thriller'.

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

Karen said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I am going to have to pass at this time.

It might be my misunderstanding, but elements of your plot sound similar to the films Conspiracy Theory and Arlington Road. I only mention this because you say that your novel is different, and I think it would be helpful when querying other agents to focus on making your story stand out from others that might be similar.

Best of luck to you.
Karen

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

bridge said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your query. I appreciate the opportunity to review your work. I regret that I have to pass and wish you the best in seeking representation.
Sincerely,
Bridge

On a personal note the adage show not tell could help in this query. I don't want to be told what is or is not in a book. I am not interested in a comparison of a mishmash of other works; I want to see what is special about your writing, what is going to keep me reading at night, what is going to make it impossible for me not to turn the page or read just one more chapter when I have other things to be doing. Show me your writing style, don't just tell me what happens in the book. Tease a little, leave a little hanging so that I have to respond and ask you for more.

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

Cicily said...

Reasoning for reject: I feel like the reader may have trouble trusting the protagonist in this book.

Anonymous said...

Dear Author:

Your premise is intriguing, but I'm afraid that this isn't quite right for me at this time.

Agent99

Reason: The writing would have to be stellar to achieve this kind of "Pale Fire" sleight-of-hand, and the query doesn't show the sparkle that would convince me of the writer's ability to carry it off.

Onovello said...

Dear Author:

Many thanks for your query. Unfortunately, I am not the right agent for this work.

With best wishes,

Onovello

Writer from Hell said...

By now I say I have got the point.

I'm not going to be an agent now. You have to read all these many queries daily? You mean seriously? Why not be a writer instead?

Anonymous said...

Dear Author:

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

Best of luck,
Agent for a Day

[Reason: No real sense of character; also, pretty much everything that "bridge" and lesleysmith have said already.]

terri said...

Thank you for your query. I am passing at this time, but would like to give a few comments:

1. I want to know about your character's specific dilemma and conflicts, not generalizations.

2. A more linear description of the plot. For example, is he crazy in the mold of 'Taxi Driver' or in the mold of 'The Manchurian Candidate' What is the story about?

Interesting premise, but not enough here to keep my interest.

Sincerely: Agent

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.

Josephine Damian said...

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot - telling the agent your book is a carbon copy of everything else? Mistake!

Reject.

Owl Sprite said...

Dear Author,

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

Best wishes, and keep writing!

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.

[This does sound interesting, but the query makes it sound too much like "Conspiracy Theory" (crazy guy is right about something) and "The Number 23" & "Secret Window" (Seemingly normal guy discovers he's cuckoo) I'd like to see another query that illustrates how this tale is different.]

Megan said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, your book isn't right for me. Agenting is subjective, though, and I wish you the best of luck!

Sincerely,
Megan

TheDivaAgent said...

Dear Author,

We at The Divalicious Agency understand and appreciate the hard work required to craft a novel. Unfortunately, we are not accepting submissions at this time.

We wish you the best in finding representation for your novel.

Yours,

The Diva Agent

DCS said...

Thank you for your query. At this time it does not meet my needs. I wish you success elsewhere.

EJ Lange said...

Author,

Thank you for submitting your query. Unfortunately, it is not right for me at this time. Good luck in your search for representation.

Agent Erin

morphine-moniza said...

wow I would want to read this.

So:

Dear Author,
Send me your manuscript!

sincerely,
Moniza

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

Kristan said...

This sounds like an awesome idea (esp. for a film) but the opening of the query was rather disenchanting... (Breaking the rules, sorry Nathan and others, it's just faster.)

Nixy Valentine said...

Dear Author:

I'm sorry, but Paranoid doesn't quite fit with my current needs.

Note: You spent too much time saying how your novel is like so many others, and the "revelation" 3/4 of the way through the book feels too much like a "gotcha" to the reader.

That being said, the premise could be well done. I couldn't really tell based on this query.

I think your query is *almost* there.

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: sounds as if you made the book deliberately cliched in order to brutally subvert the stereotypes at the 75% point. Unfortunately, that leaves me with a book which is 75% cliches. Not confident that anyone will get to the last quarter to find out whether that's more unique.)

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: It didn't hook me. The protagonist wasn't appealing. And the premise seemed something I would see right away as a reader, and therefore I don't think the book would be compelling.

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.

Keri Ford said...

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

Good Luck,
Keri

<><><><><><><>

Your first sentence stopped me. It was the 'familar classic' which makes me think unoriginal.

Also, this is like a really short synopsis here. Don't tell the whole story in the query. You want to tempt an agent. Telling them the whole thing satisfies that curiosity.

Instead, try rewritting. Tell us more about the character and less about what's going to happen. Make it less this happens and then this and then this and more of, "MC is looking for proof. Without proof, the police will think he's insane..." Put us in the action instead of telling.

Lisa R said...

Dear Paranoid:

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

Lisa R

Actually there was a lot in here I found very interesting but I couldn't quite follow it. But it sounds very intriguing.

romoak said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission, but this is not right for me.

-- Too general. I couldn't tell anything about this specific book, or this specific character.

Rick Daley said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your interest in The Authors Write Literary Agency. I have reviewed your query for Paranoid, and I’m sorry to say that while you do have a very intriguing premise, 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

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

scj said...

Sorry, but I have to pass. While I love the idea and the concept, I would like to know more about the plot and the hero. Another agent will probably feel differently. Best of luck.

Jenn Johansson said...

Dear Author,

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

Best of luck!
JR

Kitti said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but this doesn't fit with what I am looking for.

Best of luck,
Kitti

Anonymous said...

PPP - LOL! I could definitely see Nicholas Cage being in a movie like this!!

Laurie said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. While your premise sounds intriguing, I'm going to have to pass at this time.

All the best,
Laurie

reader said...

Pass.

I'm not an agent that enjoys unreliable narrators, so I'll have to pass. Best of luck.

Bija Andrew Wright said...

Thanks, but this isn't right for me. Best of luck.

Lucy A muse ision said...

Dear Author,
I was was quite impressed with your query.
Unfortunately, I am not taking on any new writers at this juncture.
Sorry if you were misinformed. I'll post that info on my website ASAP.
My apologies and best of luck,

Lucy A Muse ision
Fictitious Agent

Harsh critic said...

If the book stops being cliche-ridden 3/4 into it, I worry that no one will want to stick it out for that long. And if they do, they then have to deal with an unlikeable protagonist.

Sorry, not for me.

selestial-owg said...

(grrr I'm going to have to start copying before I hit post - this one didn't post either)

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. While the idea was interesting, I don't feel passionately enough to ask for more at this time. Best of luck.

Selestial



I do like the plot idea, but the query itself needs to be punchier. Also, the punctuation in the first sentence grabbed me (and not in a good way) - make sure you proof-read.

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)

[ X ]--The plot sounds too similar to something book-buyers have already seen -> Twelve Monkeys, Fight Club


Comments, if any:
Your query doesn't give me a good idea of what the book's plot is, only what it's final twist is. Also, although your idea sounds quite interesting, unreliable narrators have been seen before.

jjdebenedictis said...

Oh! Oh! I made the dreaded it's/its typo! I'm so sorry. *crimson with shame*

David de Beer said...

Dear Author,

thank you for your interest but I'm afraid I'm going to have to pass this time.

Sincerely,
David de Beer

Caroline said...

Dear Author:

I like your style, but this query didn't work for me. I felt like you spent too much time on what the novel is not, rather than focusing on what the novel is. Please consider revising and re-submitting.

Sincerely,

Agent Caroline

AgentMan said...

I'm afraid I'll have to pass on this. The query appears to need polishing, which of course makes me wonder about the novel. Best of luck.

AgentMan

Dara said...

Dear Paranoid,

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: Lack of trust in the protag. But it's personal taste too.

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: The hook jerked me around too much, and I didn't like the premise, personally)

Scott said...

Dear Author,

I like writers who turn conventions on their ear, and the way you presented your idea in the query surprised me in a good way. Please send me three chapters ASAP.

Sincerely,

Scott

Ulysses said...

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

K. Andrew Smith said...

Dear author,

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

Sincerely,

K. Andrew Smith

:)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

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

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.

Melissa said...

Dear Author,

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

Melissa

Thoughts: I like the premise, and I'm impressed that this writer was able to make this twisty plot so clear within the query. However, the query tells me more about what doesn't happen than what does. This might be okay if the voice drew me in more, but it doesn't quite manage that.

Casey said...

Dear Author:

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

Your query comes across as too telling with awkward phrasing.

Best wishes,

Casey

Cindy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, however the project does not fit my needs at this time.

All the best,
Cindy

Eva Ulian said...

With some tightening up and structure, you may well have a good thriller, but as it is, have to pass

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.

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.

hannah said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for the opportunity to consider your work, but it's not right for me at this time.

Best,
hannah

Cat said...

Dear Author,

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

Sincerely,
Cat

form rejection because the query just states facts about the story. It doesn't manage to show me why I should care about the characters. I don't even know who the main character is. Maybe rewriting the query and focusing on the main character and his needs might make this easier to understand.

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

Rick said...

Author-

I'd like to hear more about this work. Before I request a full manuscript, I'd like to get a feel for your writing style. Please reply with:

1. Your favorite 1000-word excerpt (and setup).
2. The first 1000 words from the middlemost chapter (and setup).
3. One-paragraph descriptions of your main characters and their motivations. I don't need histories, unless it is their history that defines their motivation, just a snapshot of how they are right now.

Please copy and paste the excerpts into the body of the email. Do not send attachments.

Thanks for your time, and for thinking of me!

Sincerely,
Rick O

Craven said...

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

Best of luck, Craven

Amy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. I found the story concept intriguing, but I am afraid I will have to pass at this time. You may want to revise your query before you submit to other agents; I thought the voice of your query was rather analytical, and your story would shine through better with less explanation.

Sincerely,
Amy

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 rejection: Opening was wrong. Set your story against what's out there. But at the same time, I don't want to route for an MC that I find is really crazy. I think readers would be disappointed.

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

Bane of Anubis said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for your submission, but it isn't right for me. Best of luck,

Bane

(reasoning: though the twist and plot line sound interesting, it feels a bit too forced to me.)

Ethan Rose said...

The description seemed to argue against wanting to read this book.

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

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

Steve Axelrod said...

This is simply preposterous! Since I assume you are not a paranoid schizophrenic yourself, I suggest writing something grounded in your own experience.

The Writers Canvas said...

Dear Author,

I enjoyed the premise of this book, but the book isn't a right fit for our agency. Good luck in your writing endeavors; your premise was an interesting twist!
Elaine

dhole said...

Dear Author, thanks for your query. Unfortunately, it's not right for my list, best of luck, etc.

Anonymous said...

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

I do enjoy Three Days of the Condor though!
Best to you,
Agent SCL

Amy said...

Dear Author,

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

Good luck with your search for an agent.

Kind regards,

amyandnick

(PS - The fact the hero is a villain and the crazy guy saves the world confused me.)

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

Kristi said...

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

Sincerely,
Kristi

Barb said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission, but this is not for me. I wish you luck in finding a home for your manuscript.

All the best,
Barb

Barbara Webb said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for sharing your novel, but this book isn't for me. I'm going to pass.

Best of luck!

Barbara

Vicky said...

Thank you for querying our agency. Unfortunately, this project is not right for us. Best of luck finding representation for your work.

All best.

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.

Nik said...

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

Reasoning: It's a tad off-putting that you say that the story starts out in familiar classic mode or that it sounds like any one of a dozen thrillers. That seems to point out off the bat that there isn't anything really unique about the story and could make people stop reading right there. I'm also not certain it's necessary to state in the query that 2/3 of the way through the story is where a clarification of the hero comes into play - just leave that out. When you get to the parts about the paranoid schizophrenic and the perfect assassin it's somewhat intriguing, but I might also caution you to make sure you're villain would really be diagnosed as schizophrenic rather than something else. I'm not saying you are, but too often people use schizophrenia as a motivation for someone to be evil when there is really another driving force.

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

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

Endless Secrets said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, although I find your project very interesting unfortuanely I am not the right agent for you. However I encourage you to continue on as your novel shows potential.

Best of luck
-Lea

Brian Crawford said...

Thank you for sending me your work. Interesting Concept. 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.

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! You had a lot of really interesting ideas here, and I'm sure they're equally as interesting in your book! However, your query detracted from your ideas in a couple of ways:

Here is what you reallyreallyreally do not EVER want to do in a query, 1) because there isn't enough time/space and 2) because it often creates automatic resentment on the part of your reader and potential agent: never tell me what I'm going to think about a book. "The reader will have their expectations destroyed!" is not a good way to proceed, because it's *very* rarely that this actually happens, and you only create a "hmph, well I bet *I'd* figure it out" response.

Plus, you want your potential agent to want to read all of your novel, so don't spoil us for the huge plot twists! ;)

I have a problem with concept because it seems like your title, "Paranoid," is *begging* us to think that the guy's actually crazy. So finding out that he's... actually crazy? It seems a bit anticlimactic.

In this case a query that got right to that problem and told me why I should care about him anyway, including once I find out what the title already leads me to suspect, would be great.

Good luck!)

super agent nicole said...

Dear author,

Thank you for taking the time to submit your query to me. Unfortunately, I am unable to offer representation at this time. Although the premise sounds interesting, I am worried that the reader will either not read far enough in to discover what is different about your book, or if they do read far enough they will feel tricked and duped.

Thank you,
Nicole

Heather said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but it's not for me.

Good luck!
Heather


*This tells me more about the book than engages me into the plot of the book. And because of that kind of outside feeling, I don't feel invested enough to ask for more material.
*The premise is interesting, though. I think maybe presenting it in a more engaging way would change my mind.

Chuck H. said...

Dear Author,

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

Sincerely,

Chuck

(Like you said, sounds like a whole lot of other stories. The twist just wasn't enough for me)

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

KathyF said...

Dear Author of Query #18,

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

KathyF

Cary Louisa said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, I don't feel it is right for me.

SammyStewart said...

Form Rejectoin

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: unfortunately, this query was much too vague and I was unable to get a good idea of what the novel would really entail.)

Steph said...

Dear You,

Thanks for querying but I'm afraid I'm going to have to pass. Best of luck in your search for representation.

Steph

Don said...

[form rejection]

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. How is the main character "really crazy"?

Best of luck in the future,

Regards,
Agent for a Day, Bookworm Megs

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

Kavanaugh and Byrne's LA said...

Dear Author

Thank you 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

Superfast said...

Dear Author,

I'm interested in reading more. Please send me the full manuscript.

Thank you.

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

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: Don't apologize for your book! You make it sound like the reader will have to slog through half a book's worth of derivative, formulaic sludge before they get to the good stuff. By then, you'll have lost them. It sounds like there's a great premise under a poorly-conceived query here.

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.

Tara Ryan said...

Dear Author,
Thank you so much for submitting your work to me. Unfortunately, Paranoid 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

(Too much tell as opposed to show and not enough voice. Don't tell me what the twist is; show me.)

ikmar said...

Dear Author

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

Sincerely,
Agent for the Day

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

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

Ello said...

Dear Author,

I was really intrigued with the premise. It was a really hard decision but ultimately I've decided that I am not the right agent for this book. Best of luck to you!

Sasha said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm the right agent to represent your manuscript.

Good luck and yours truly,
AftD

Comments: This is just a personal opinion, but I think you're doing your manuscript a disservice by starting your query with the phrase "familiar classic mode"- isn't freshness is the end all and be all of a hook?

Andie said...

Dear Author:

Thriller isn't usually my cup of tea, but this query intrigued me -- please send along the first 20 pages and a complete synopsis.

Thanks,
Andie

Anonymous said...

No thank you. Best of luck in your endeavors.

-Agent Pro Tempore

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 game and this is 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

Mystery Robin said...

Dear Author,

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

This could be very interesting, but I don't personally care for books with an unreliable narrator.

Robin

Laura said...

Dear Author,

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

Best of luck,

Agent Laura

Adam Heine said...

Interesting idea, but: (1) Show, don't tell, (2) Be more specific in your opening, and (3) an insane protagonist is likely to be a major turn-off unless you write really well (see #1).

I'm sorry, but this doesn't sound right for me. Thank you for submitting.

Gregory said...

Dear Author;

Form rejection.

Cordially,

Agent Gregory

[Concur with what others here have said. And, the first line was a turn-off. If it's "familiar" and "classic," why read it? I know. Your point it that it STARTS that way, but radically shifts. The premise is interesting. But as others have said, you have to show, not tell, and just put enough in the query to really hook me and make me want a partial.]

Jeanne Tomlin said...

Form rejection

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. This sounds like it could be an interesting story, but this query is somewhat confusing and isn't reflecting that as well as it could. Is the president's son the paranoid MC - this isn't completely clear.

Katy said...

Thank you for your submission. This project does not sound right for me at this time.
Best of luck,
Katy

Meg Trotter said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, however I will have to pass. This is not quite right for me.

Best of luck elsewhere,

Megan

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

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

Soratian said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query but I'm afraid I'll be passing on this one. While the concept is interesting, I'm not sufficiently convinced that it would work for me.

Good luck,
Soratian

(Additional comments: I found the pitch rather confusing with all the twists laid out. Think these would be better elaborated in a synopsis. Also, I would rather you hint whether your protagonist is insane or not, rather than telling us that he is- because that deflates it for me to know that the narrator is unreliable, even before he had the chance to charm us.)

Merry Monteleone said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your interest in The Only Literary Agency Insane Enough To Trust Me With Queries. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to pass.

Best of luck,

Merry

Polenth said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. As your story didn't resonate with me, I'm going to have to pass.

--
Polenth

Patti K. said...

Thank you for your submission. I do not believe that your manuscript is right for me at this time. Good luck on your search for the perfect agent!

Patti K.

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

Renee Collins said...

Dear Paranoid,

Thank you for your query. I was on the fence with this one, because the premise intrigued me. Unfortunately, I don't think it is quite right for me. I'm sure another agent will feel differently.

Best of luck,

Renee

Sage said...

Dear Paranoid,

I don't believe I could get into a novel where everything I know about the novel turns out to be a lie part way through. Perhaps another agent will feel differently.

Thanks,
Sage

Nay said...

Dear Author,

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

-Nay

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


(Don't tell me what your book is about, show me.)

Annie said...

I'd pass.

Reason: I'm turned off because the query tells, tells, tells me what to think about the book and what is different. I'd rather see that for myself from a brief description of the plot.

JuJu said...

Dear Author,

Though your project shows some promise and sounds interesting, unfortunately it is just not the right one for me. Please keep in mind that appeal as a novel is entirely subjective – so keep at it!

Sincerely,
JuJu

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

Sol said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately I am unable to request a partial at this time.

I wish you the best in your search for an agent.

Kind regards,

Sol Nima

Getabo Publishing said...

It sounds like you've some interesting storylines and a novel angle on a thriller.

92,000 words sounds a good length and your novel is completed. All good points which come across.

What's missing?
I would like to see something personal - why you picked me as an agent to represent your work and why it's a god fit for my list.

Suggestions:
If you consider I am a very busy agent, I need to love, or at least be interested by your opening line. The first three sentences are not strong and as you say yourself, it does appear very much like 'any one of a dozen thrillers'. If I was really, really busy that day, I think you'd run the risk of me not even finishing reading the query - which would be a shame as the second half sounds quite interesting, from "The President of the United States has not..." onwards. why not start with that? Hook me in from your opening line. I would worry (perhaps wrongly) that the book would also have a slow start, and (as you write "Three quarters of the way through the book") the interesting bit is later on. The risk is readers will not find the start exciting and not want to read it - and publishers would feel the same way.

I can't read your opening pages, so that may be mistaken - but it is the impression I get on reading the query.

Since the book won't have an audio track I would perhaps also worry that your expectations may be appear to be too high, seeing this story as an instant movie box-office hit, "revealed through a few bars of music whistled during a televised interview ..." personally I'd skip that line.

I think there's some great and potentially big ideas for a fun thriller, but "punch every expectation inside out" from the start - if I got this as one of my 50 in my inbox today, it doesn't grab me (yet.)

***

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately we do not think that your book would be a likely prospect for our list.

We regret that the large number of submissions we receive makes it impossible to offer individual comment. We believe it is more important to read and evaluate every query / submission we receive with due consideration.

We appreciate you thinking of Getabo Creative Publishing, and wish you the best of luck with your manuscript and future writing endeavors.

Sincerely.
The Editors
Getabo Creative Publishing

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 at this time.

While I love the idea of double-crossing the reader, the writing in your query was ultimately not strong enough for me to request a full (and as there were no sample pages, the writing in the query is all I've got to go by).

Best of luck in your future agent search.

Best regards,
Selene Da Agent
Selene Literary

Belinda Frisch said...

Dear Author,

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

Best Wishes,
Belinda

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

wickerman said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for the opportunity to evaluate Paranoid. I am afraid it does not suit my needs at this time.

Best of luck,

The Wickerman

Senior Query Technician, Bransford Lit

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

EMC07 said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your submission. Classic mode? I'm sorry, but it doesn't sound like you even like the idea? There's a lot in this query and it sounds interesting enough, just tighten up the query.

"It sounds like any one of a dozen thrillers."
Make this idea original with your voice. Then maybe it won't be the same ol thing. I'll have to pass at this time.

Sincerely,
emc

Patti K. said...

Thank you for your submission. It is not right for me at this time. Good luck in your quest for the perfect agent.

Patti K.

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

Cat Moleski said...

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

Cat

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.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Form rejection.


I can't get past how this is worded to understand the story.

Kats said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for your query, but I am going to pass as I don't believe I'm the right agent for Paranoid.

Best,
Agent for a Day, Kats

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.

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

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

lucy in the sky said...

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately I do not believe I am the best person to represent your work.

Maricar said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your query. The premise of your book is intriguing. However, I don't think I can wait to go through 3/4 of the book for it to catch my attention. That may be just me, so do keep querying. Best of luck.

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.

Mira said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. I'm very intrigued by the twist that you've engineered. A thiller that keeps the reader guessing about who is 'crazy' can create great suspense and tension - and be a very fun read.

The key to this would be in the writing. Making a paranoid schizophrenic the protaganist is tricky. It can be difficult for the audience to identify and sympathize, but the right writer could make it work. If done right, this could be a highly marketable work that might be adapted for film.

I would request a partial, but I am only limited to 5 today.

I wish you alot of luck - I think you've got a very interesting premise here!

Mira

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.

educlaytion said...

Thank you for your submission, but your book is not for me. Good luck in the future.

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

Jenn said...

Dear Author,

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

Sincerely,
Fake Agent

This is interesting, but I would be really upset as a reader if I got 3/4 of the way through the book only to find out the guy I was rooting for is the villian. JMHO.

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

cwsherwoodedits said...

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

Fawn Neun said...

Thank you for sending in your query for consideration. We have looked it over carefully, but do not feel it meets our agency needs at this time. We don't represent suspense/thriller novels. I'm sure you will be able to find a more suitable agent for this work.

Thank you for offering the opportunity and best of luck,

Fawn

Fairduncan said...

Dear Author

Thanks for querying us. I regret I have to pass on this one, but wish you every success in finding representation.

Cordially Yours,
Agent

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

ps. Interesting premise. Hard to believe president's son could go that far without being detected. The ending reminds me of Eagle Eye. But it sounds like a great start. Is it told in first person from the son's perspective? That would definitely make things interesting.

JohnO said...

Dear Author,

This query sat in my "maybe" pile for quite a while, because it's a good premise, even though it sounds similar to the Mel Gibson film "Conspiracy Theory."

But because of the reversal, I thought the book would be hard to pull off technically.

Best,
Agent

L.C. Gant said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission, but I'm afraid your story isn't right for me. Good luck on your continued search for representation.

Best wishes,

L.C. Gant (Agent for a Day)

(Reasoning: Despite the author's comments to the contrary, the concept of "good guy becomes schizophrenic bad guy" has been done many times. Secret Window and The Uninvited are only a few that come to mind. Also, this query is far too long and in many places redundant.)

Amethyst Greye Alexander said...

Dear Author,

I've reviewed your query but am afraid your project isn't a good fit with the works I represent. I hope you won't let this discourage you, however, as every agent has different tastes and you're sure to find representation that will better suit your needs.

Thank you for considering me.
Amethyst Adams

Anonymous said...

Form Rejection.

Agent DC

Wandering Spirit said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for taking the time to submit your query. Unfortunately I am unable to offer you representation at this time. However, all writing is of value and I wish you the best in your endeavours.

Best wishes

Agent for a Day

Note: I was intrigued by the twist on the paranoid protagonist actually being crazy but then became lost with the schizophrenic angle later on.

Krista said...

This one was really close for me. I like the idea of the guy really being crazy, but I would like a better feel for the characters instead of a run down of plot and twists. If the character is really intriguing, this could be a really good book. But I don't get that sense from the query.

Sorry, rejection.

Tamara said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I wish you the best of luck finding a home for this project, but after consideration, I have to say it's not for me.

Agent for a Day
(Tamara)

Venus Vaughn said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, your project doesn't meet my needs at this time.
Best of luck to you in your writing career.

~Venus Vaughn

Savannah Pens said...

Dear Author: Thank you for your query. Your project is not right for my agency at this time. Best wishes. Savannah Pens Agent

Nifaerie Noven said...

Hi!

Sorry, this just isn't for me.

Best of luck!

Marilyn Peake said...

Dear Author of PARANOID:

Thank you for your query. I regret to inform you that I cannot offer you representation at this time. Please do not in any way interpret this as meaning that your book doesn’t have merit or that you should give up on writing. Follow your dreams. I wish you all the best in your search for a literary agent.

Sincerely,
Writerly Angst Literary Agent

KareFree Kennels said...

Paranoid

Sorry, not for me.

Best of luck,
Sheryl

Brenda said...

Dear Author,
This is reminiscent of Twelve Monkeys for me. Unfortunately, I will have to pass.
Thank you for your submission.

Elizabeth said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, I do not feel strongly enough about the work to request further material.

Best regards,

Agent Elizabeth

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