I did something I wouldn’t normally do–shouldn’t really do, because it’s not my job.
We received a “query” from someone who didn’t know how to query and said so in the email. The agent to whom it was addressed had already replied with a kindly-worded rejection, and the writer replied back thanking the agent for their kindness and asking for query tips.
It’s not our job to tell you how to write queries, or how to write at all. There are website, conferences, and classes (both online and in-person) for you to learn from before you query us.
But this was from someone who obviously didn’t know those things even existed. I had the time, so I sent a reply explaining what a query actually was (hook, genre, word count, and first few pages as a sample) and letting them know where to find more information.
We won’t usually have time for this. But I want you to know that we do care. If I had time, I would send helpful links and longer replies to everyone who needs query help or who receives a rejection.
When I say “best of luck” at the end of my emails, I really do mean it.
Photo by Silvia Sala.