Query letters to literary agents: Don’t be weird

Roz DeKett

By Roz DeKett

Literary agent Janet Reid runs the Query Shark web site. There are some of my notes from her talk at the 2015 Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City.

I’ve posted about the right way to query literary agents about your book. In the same conference talk, Janet Reid covered things that will get you rejected. Here you go—these are things she mentions because she sees them often.

Don’t include these words
Fiction novel Words are your tools. If you can’t get it right in a query, the agent has no faith in your writing.

Surefire bestseller This demonstrates your sense of reality is askew; you’re going to be hard to work with.

Oprah If you’re not married to her, you’re done

Film potential You’re sending this to a literary agent; their job is to sell it to a book publisher

Dear Sir/Madam It makes you look lazy:…

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