I have seen quite a bit of anxiety around the Internet this past week from authors who worry about wasting an agent’s time with a query.
Well, almost never. Assuming you devoted the proper amount of time and attention that a query deserves and made a good-faith attempt to make sure that the query was in the vicinity of the ballpark of the agent’s genres (and I’m talking one huge ballpark) and follows the agent’s submission guidelines, you’re not wasting anyone’s time.
I know. You’ve seen the complaints about the bad queries and how long it takes to get through the slush pile. Including, um, some that perhaps were on this blog. But what you’re seeing is the natural, occasional frustration that comes with the herculean task of judging hundreds of different projects a week. It gets tiring. You get a little frustrated, even.
But that does not mean that anyone who even made a half-hearted attempt to follow my guidelines was wasting my time, nor are you wasting any other agent’s time by querying them.
Buck up, aspiring authors! We want you to query us. Even if we sometimes have a funny way of showing it.