I’m doing my best to dig myself out from under my overwhelming backlog of queries, but in so doing, I’m truly amazed how often I come across a query letter that doesn’t actually tell me ANYTHING about the book being queried. I wouldn’t think I’d need to say this, but authors, you do know that you have to pitch a specific project in your query letter to an agent, right? Your letter shouldn’t just be an extended bio, even if you’re writing a memoir.
Tell me about your book, not just why you wanted to write it, or what the reviews of the self-published edition have said.
Don’t just insert the first three pages into your email without a covering note, and don’t think that just telling me the title and wordy subtitle is enough.
And, as per Jennifer Laughran’s post of yesterday, be sure you’ve finished your manuscript before you start querying!
What other obvious advice do I need to mention?