Monday, August 14, 2006

Q & A 81 Solicited Queries

I've been combing through the agencies on, and many of the agents state that they "are not currently accepting unsolicited queries."


I can understand not accepting unsolicitated manuscripts, or even partials, but what agent would ever solicit just a query? Maybe I am a dimbulb, but it just does not make sense to me.

If I had to fathom a guess, I'd say an agent who has received from one of his clients a recommendation of an aspiring writer who has talent but no agent, might contact that writer as a favor to his client, and say, "I hear good things about your project; feel free to send me a query when it's done."

Of course, if you want an answer straight from the horse's mouth, you might write to each of these agents and ask, "What's a girl got to do to get you to solicit her?"


Anonymous said...

Yes, what EE said happened to me. The agent asked me to send a letter, not the manuscript.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

If there's ever a question about if it's okay to send an agent a query, I always just send him or her an email stating that I was unsure if they are currently accepting queries, and if they are, what may I send them and how may I send it.

Sometimes, this information is not as up-to-date as you might think. The worst that can happen is the agent does not respond. The best -- they tell you it's okay to query.

PJD said...

I have also heard stories of people who met people at conferences and were told it was OK to send a query. Usually this is interpreted as a solicited query. Whether it's truly a solicitation or simply a polite attempt to dispose of a leech rarely matters.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it relatively common for a longer-term agent to be busy enough with current clients that they won't even look at another ms?

Doesn't seem very far-fetched at all to me. So with so many agents in the sea, why go fishing for one who's already married?

Maybe if you've exhausted your search for all the agents actually open to new writers, but I can't see otherwise. I'm ready to be enlightened though, in this and all other matters.

Anonymous said...

There's still plenty of agentcies, that are accepting the queries. What bugs me more, is the 'query only' thing. No sample pages. Just a query. However, thanks to EE, I'm gonna be ready for them. Soon, hopefully. Probably, not very soon, though.

Anonymous said...

A query is just a business letter, and there's no law that says you can't send one even if the agency says they don't want them.

At worst, you'll hear nothing and you've wasted a stamp. At best, some curious office manager will open the letter and be so blown away by your fantastic query she'll run right into her boss and say, "This sounds so cool. You gotta request the ms."

Then maybe the office manager will discover you and get promoted to agent status and launch her career along with yours.

If this is an agency you really want to work with, pretend you never saw the notice that the agency doesn't want queries, and send one anyway. Just make sure it's a good query. Even if they toss it in the trash, you won't get blacklisted or anything.

Anonymous said...

What bugs me more, is the 'query only' thing. No sample pages. Just a query.

Some agents consider sample pages part of the query. Unless they say "Query letter only", I'm gonna send sample pages (but only five). I translate the phrase "Query only" as meaning, "Don't send me your steenking manuscript or partial unless I bloody-well asked you for it! *froth, froth, hair-tearing*"

Word veri: Budro - An anglo-mangled spelling of a French name, or the slang term for the marijuana-growing belt of the North American west coast.

Anonymous said...

whitemouse: You're right. After sending two of those letter only things, I'm about to defy them, and send... pages. Maybe that will work.

Meanwhile, I realize, that I'm being a compleate nitwit. There's plenty of agents, that accept queries with chapters, etc.

I guess, I'm just a chicken in a nut suit, avoiding getting a rejection based on my writing.

P.S. I'm still blocked from the Barfs and Noodle, and its all your fault, whitemouse. You and your fairy books... Maybe they'll let me in, if I wear a chicken suit...

(ukkug: another word I don't understand. I'm pretty sure uk means UK)