Querying Commandments

  • Thou shalt remember the sub guidelines and keep them holy
    • Thou shalt not flout them save thou wishest to be rejected most speedily
  • Thou shalt not re-query save thy book be greatly revised or if thou tryest with a different one.
    • Thine answer shall be unchanged and thy name placed upon a shitlist*
      • *if thou breakst this commandment multiple times
  • Thy synopsis shall not exceed 2 pages unless sub guidelines otherwise indicate unto thee.
    • Thou mayest desire to keep synopses of varying lengths upon thy computer
  • Thy query letter shouldst be created with deftness and care and fall under 400 words unless personalization thou wishest to add
    • Thou mayest wish to present thy query to those who hath no knowledge of thy book and seest if the gist they understandst
    • Thou mayest also procure a critique of thy query, but thine friendly neighborhood lit assistant urges thee to first take advantage of free resources available to thee
  • Thou shalt query but one book at a time even if sequels dwellest in thy heart and mind
    • Thou mayest discuss thine book phantoms upon further communication with thine future agent
  • Three categories nor genres shouldst thou list unless thou wishest to look the amateur
    • Thy neighborhood bookstore shalt thou visit and imagine upon its shelves thy book resteth
    • Thou shalt then make note of this and categorize thy book thusly
  • Rudeness shalt thee not consider, nor malice linger in thy heart when a rejection thou receivest
    • Instead think thee if thou wouldst wish to procure representation from a literary personage who doth not enjoy nor understand thy book
  • Schmagents shalt thou not query — unless thou revelest in suffering — for though their intentions may be pure and their hearts may be true, their skills and contacts and sales are most assuredly not
  • Literary agents shalt thou not seek out in thine corporeal existence lest thee lookst the creep, nor shalt thou follow them into the privy lest thee lookst more the creep
  • Thou needst friends and critique partners to keep thy sanity
    • Thou shouldst support thine querying friends
  • Thou shalt revel in thy friends’ successes even as thou wouldst commiserate with them in the knowledge that publishing doth suck, for they art thy constant companions in thy journey
    • If jealousy thou feelst, welcome it as thou wouldst an awkward dinner guest at a time of Thanksgiving — thou mayest feed it, tolerate it, silently weep into glasses of various beverages at its presence, then send it speedily on its way
  • Thou shalt remember to fill thy stomach and wash thy body even if thou art on deadline
    • Thou shalt otherwise regret it when pimply thou becomest
  • Thou shalt not query published books
  • Thou needst not ask permission to send a query
  • Thou shouldst not be a dick
  • Thou shalt inform literary agents on thy list if an offer of rep thou receivest
    • Thou needst not despair if thy book dost not secure rep
      • Thou shouldst keep writing
  • Thou shalt query agents who rep thy genre
  • Thou needst not tell them thee hast been writing since childhood
  • Thou shouldst polish thine whole book in addition to thine sample pages
  • Thou shalt keep thy cool if a rejection thou receivest
  • Thou needst friends and critique partners to keep thy sanity
    • Thou shouldst support thine querying friends
  • Thou shalt treat publishing professionals with respect
    • Thou shouldst treat everyone who art not a dick with respect
  • Thou needst remember publishing art a business
  • Thou shalt remember thou art made of stardust
    • Thou needst keep much tenacity in thy heart
  • Thou shouldst follow thine friendly neighborhood lit assistant 😎