Query Tips from a Literary Assistant — 11/29/13

I’m an assistant agent at The Seymour Agency. Our agents, Mary Sue Seymour and Nicole Resciniti represent a range of genre: Christian/Inspirational, Fantasy/Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Women’s Lit, Romance, 

This edition of 10 Query Tips from a Literary Assistant will be a bit smaller than past weeks due to Thanksgiving. However, I’m still going back over my Twitter feed (@LaneHeymont) and addressing the query tips I posted during the week. Here’s this week’s edition:


1) When writing a query, or anything, do so in a quiet, clean space. They say “cleanliness is next to godliness”. This should be self-explanatory. #querytip


2) Don’t put any jones in your query. Even though I’m a “funny as f*ck” guy according to a client, this is business, baby. ABC. Always be closing, and you don’t close business with jokes. #querytips


3) People, I am saying do NOT query or look for agents/publishers who advertise on Craigslist! I can’t say every reputable agent agrees with this, because when you assume you make “an ass out of u and me”, but let’s keep it real. No reputable agent/editor/publisher advertises on sites like CL. They don’t need to, people are busy knocking down their doors to submit quality material. #querytip #commonsense


4) Just because something (i.e. querying) is hard doesn’t mean you give up on it. You have a goal? Don’t try to work towards it, you work towards it UNTIL you reach it. If you’re too afraid someone is going to steal the material you are sending out you are either misguided/ignorant or there is some major underlying insecurity about your abilities. #querytip #lifetip


5) Querying around the holiday season won’t count against you, but do expect delays. The publishing/literary industry moves too slow as it is and remember we do have families, too. #querytip


6) You probably shouldn’t tweet/query from your iPhone, or any phone. Why? Because of autocorrect. I tweeted the previous tip during the week, but due to my mother&%$* iPhone’s Fu&% sh*tty autocorrect, it came out like this: “Querying around the holiday season may count against you, but expect delays.”

Of course, my mentor tweeted me back like WTF in not so many words. I only hope I didn’t scare off the next Dickens, or make the future Ralph Waldo Emerson think I’m a jackass. #querytip


7) Finally, just enjoy the holidays and don’t stress yourself into an oblivion! #querytip


That’s it for this week’s query tips. Thanks for joining in, and remember to check back next week!