Lainey is right, we’ve not yet hit 700 entries so my resolve should not be crumbling, particularly after I expressed so much confidence that I could handle a billion.
It’s just… I mean… Have you seen the….
But no matter. Please continue to enter!! And sure, tell your friends. Because I’m crazy. But please note that the deadline for entering is 5:00 PM Pacific Time. Then it will be time for the bourbon I mean judging. Or maybe both. Preferably both. Definitely both.
And I cannot thank May Vanderbilt from Good Girl Lit enough for helping me judge the entries. Please buy her books!
Now then. Due to the contest, this week has been light on ye olde publishing advice, and I thought I would offer some query advice to balance out the contest.
Lately I have been receiving a solid number of queries who mention my blog, which is great, because a personalized query increases your chances of a partial or full manuscript request by about 7,000 percent (and not just with me — this goes for any agent). But then a good portion of these individuals then proceed to ignore nearly all of my submission guidelines and tips on how to write a good query letter.
Let me assure you that I do not expect you to wade through all 200 blog posts before you query me, and, for instance, a rhetorical question at the beginning of your query won’t doom your chances (it will merely cause me to shake my fist and yell, “Cursed rhetorical questions, I WILL DEFEAT YOU YET!” before I read on). But some people will even go so far and tell me, “I know you like shorter query letters but I can’t do that so here’s a really long one.” Hmm…
By no means do I expect you to read this blog like your life as an author depends on it, and you should take everything I say with a heaping grain of salt. But at the same time, I do not host this blog for my health (if anything, maintaining it is detrimental to my health and personal hygiene). If you mention the blog in your query, there’s a certain level of responsibility that goes along with it in order for you to receive the accompanying increase-in-partial-requesting-odds.
So before you mention the blog in a query, please please please, at the very least read the “Essential” posts on the right hand side of the blog, and you ignore the Good Query Letters and Query Critiques at your peril.
And now back to the contest!