Keep Those Query Letters Coming – Ver 2.0


No. I’m not an agent. Nor a publisher. I’m just a regular schmuck…like you… trying to get somebody interested in my novel. But it’s difficult when half the literary agents in America are taking a hiatus for the holidays. On top of that there’s plenty of advice being passed around that suggests that even querying the ones that are still accepting them might not be in your best interest during this time of year.

I can’t say that I blame the agents for stepping back though. They work awfully hard year-round. And not just for themselves, but their clients as well. So they’ve earned the right to take a break from reading our confusing, rambling, unfocused, misguided pitches that are just a step up from smelly fish bait. The never-ending search for a diamond in the rough takes a toll. So, enjoy the time away Mr. and Ms. Agent.

But just because they’ve turned off the spicket shouldn’t mean that we writers have to break up our submission routines, whatever they might be. Don’t know what to do if you can’t send out a letter this month? Does it make you feel like you’re going to explode having to wait until 2011, all dressed up with nowhere to go? This is where I’m willing to step-in once again and help. While the agents are away, go ahead and send your query letters to me. Were you about to send one off to the Bookends agency, or one of the many others before you read the notification they were not accepting any until next year? Send it to me instead. I’ll read each and every one of them and I’ll even post a few here on my blog (with your permission). Don’t worry, I’ll redact (wow – that’s the first time I used that word in a sentence – fun) any personal information first. The ones I post won’t be for ridicule (I’ll do that in the privacy of my home), or held up as an example of what works or doesn’t work (like anybody really knows anyway), but rather because they’re about books I WOULD BE INTERESTED IN READING.

This will be my second time offering my query reading services. Last year I think I had 10 followers when I first had the idea, but then Rachelle Gardner twittered about my little venture and the letters quickly started pouring in. And that’s not the best of it! After I posted one of my favorite query letters, an actual agent contacted me and wanted to know how to get in touch with the author!! (*waves to Amanda*). Yes, they are out there lurking!

Submission guidelines: From now until January 7th, send your query letter to dlh(dot)hammons(at)gmail(dot)com. No synopsis or partial manuscripts. You can consider your submission an instant rejection, because I won’t respond back, but I will post the ones that really stand out (unless you request me not to).

I’m glad to do my part and give back to the community that has given so much to me.

Keep sending those query letters! :)

34 comments

  1. Just when I was content with my decision to follow a lot of the agents' "break from query month" by instituting my own "break from revision month," here you go making me feel all guilty!

    Nope, not going to fall for it...have a happy holiday season!

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  2. What a great and giving opportunity! You are awesome.

    and you may just get a letter from me.

    *okay I just winked at the computer. I need coffee.

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  3. I would send mine just for fun, but everyone would know it was mine right away!

    Still, this is an awesome idea, way to go DL!

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  4. What a cool and generous idea. I don't have a query letter written -- hell, I don't even have a manuscript written :P -- but maybe I'll mock one up for practice. We'll see...

    Gotta get the Christmas presents bought first...

    Thinking of you!!

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  5. What an awesome idea! If I can finished my revisions in time and write up a query letter, I'll be sending you one!
    I hope your revisions are going smoothly!

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  6. Great idea DL. I'm done. Look for mine soon.

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  7. What a lovely thing to do! I'm no where near a query, but I'm wishing everyone good luck with theirs.

    BTW, I titled a post the other day with you in mind (based on your post about using particular words in titles/labels) *grinning*

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  8. Oh thank you so much for the offer but I have nothing to query. I could use some mind scratching pondering though :D

    What a holiday treat for those who need this. You make a good Santa.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  9. This is hilarious. How brave you are.

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  10. That's so nice! Of course, I don't have jack diddly to send, but I'll happily be reading all the others. :)

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  11. That sounds like fun. Can you make a new category "Premature Queries" for those of us who aren't finished with the book yet? LOL.

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  12. Rachel Gardner Tweeted about you? CRAZY! I don't have a query ready to go right now, but i'm excited to see what you pick

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  13. those crazy lurking agents... Nathan used to lurk around Matt's blog, Anne got a request for her full MS based on a comment, Jen has a book proposal going... all b/c of lurkers. :D

    I've got my MS out on several subs, but I'll see what I can do. Fun stuff, DL~ :o) <3

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  14. Ok, so I'm in the process of writing my first ever query letter now ... Very scary. I'm not sure if I'll get up the guts to send it to you or not, or if I'll even be done with it soon. But, I'll make an honest effort, I promise. And don't worry, I won't send you the fake one I posted on my blog :)

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  15. DL: Going to work on refining my query letter today to send to you. I plan to use it in Jodi Henry's Query Letter Blogfest too. Is that acceptable?

    Scribbler to Scribe

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  16. Oh I wish I had one ready to go! Wonderful of you to do this. How about doing it again in APril when I'm ready:)

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  17. I was imagining you drowning in a pile of letters. Then I realized you'd just be getting emails and that kind of made me sad...not that I want you to drown...anyway...I don't have a query to send, but I'm glad you're doing this. I think you will help keep many writers sane this month. :)

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  18. I think this is a great idea! Can't wait to see them.

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  19. What a great idea! You're popular for a reason. I always sucked at query letters, so I tremble at the thought of having to write another one, or even it guiding someone else to write one. Have fun!

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  20. What a great idea! I have no novel to query right now, but I love the idea no less. Send them in people! It's good for everyone to read query letters, even if we're not querying. Never pass up a learning experience.

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  21. Now that's a fun idea. Can't wait to see what you unearth in the deluge.

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  22. Sounds like fun! I'm sending it now!

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  23. Wow--this is very cool of you. Have fun critiquing all those query letters. Methinks you'll be a very busy guy! :)

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  24. What a great idea! I'm not sure I'll have mine ready in time, but I'm looking forward to see those that stand out!

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  25. What a very cool idea! Love it :)

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  26. Great idea. I'll send you mine to add to your very own slush pile ;)

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  27. What a great idea! I didn't know yuor Rachelle Gardner story. Neat! I only write short stories but maybe next year if you do it again??

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  28. This is a good idea and a generous offer. Sometimes those query letters get so imprinted in our brains that they could really use a set of fresh eyes.

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  29. What a great idea DL! Wish I had something to send you, but it'll be some time before I'm ready.

    Looking forward to reading up on what you receive!

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  30. What a great idea! But I'm not sure I'm brave enough! Even though its anonymous. I know, I feel like a wimp =(
    But Im really curious to see the queries of the brave people who have the guts to try it!

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  31. You're right about agents deserving a break. It's one month anyway.

    Cool idea. Now if only I were done with revisions. :)

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  32. Oh, very nice. If I can get up the courage, I just might ;)

    Cool blogging concept!

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  33. Oh, very nice. If I can get up the courage, I just might ;)

    Cool blogging concept!

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