By Scott Rhoades
(Written in a hotel room in San Francisco on a small tablet, so please forgive weird little typing errors.)
When querying agents, it is important to follow submission guidelines exactly. Agents often lament the number of queries that do not follow the rules. There are too many people, they say, who think they are exceptions, exceptional talebts who can get an edge by ignoring submission guidelines. Rules are for saps, some believe, and their superior talent will wow the agent so much that the rules won't matter.
1. This is a highly unprofessional approach, and agents want to represent professionals.
2. Agents are very busy, and they establish guidelines to help them work more efficiently. If you don't follow the guidelines, you waste their time, and you'll never win anybody over by wasting their time.
3. Following guidelines shows you've done your research and are most likely querying the agent because you are interested in working with that agent, not simply because you're blanket-querying all agents.
4. Not following the guidelines is rude.
It is difficult to attract an agent. When rushing through a stack of queries, agents look for reasons to reject. You're not going to get an agent on your side by ticking him off.
So remember, no matter how good and special you believe you are, you are not an exception.
Today's Free Fridays Nook Book: Winston's War: A Novel of Conspiracy, by Michael Dobbs