Wow, is it really time for my next blog post on here? Gosh, time flies. Since the last few days have been beyond busy (World Cup, a client's book launch, an out-of-control to-read list, and a shoulder injury that makes everything take longer than it should), I'm a little pressed for time. So I'm going to be boring and uninspired, and do another set of #tenqueries. I know, I know... I did that last time (which can be found here if you missed it), but I promise my next blog post will be something... better. And if that doesn't convince you, there's always the picture of Zac Efron at the bottom of this page.
If you haven't scrolled all the way down to Hottie McHottie yet, thanks -- and welcome to this week's #tenqueries. (Disclaimer: all these queries were sent to me at some point in the past. They are not necessarily current submisions.)
1.) A Memoir about living life with an unknown mental disorder. It sounds really interesting and I am sure it's a story many people will be able to relate to. I can also picture myself actually buying a book like that, but unfortunately I don't represent non-fiction as I don't know enough about the market. That's why it's so important to only query agents who handle your genre. If an agent doesn't handle your genre, it doesn't matter how great your query, pitch, or actual manuscript is. It's the most unnecessary rejection. Pass.
2.) Contemporary YA. There's a "marketing plan" instead of a pitch. The query letter doesn't tell me anything about the story, needless to say it fails to hook me. The word count is 125,000 -- I suspect the manuscript is a little long-winded. The reading sample begins with a flashback that doesn't seem relevant to the story, but I'm not sure since I still don't really know what the story is supposed to be about. Make sure I have an idea what to expect before moving on to your sample chapters. The query letter needs to tell me the "who" and "what". Who is your main character? What do they want? What are the obstacles? The stakes? Pass.
3.) A dragon-themed MG novel. Oh. :( Unfortunately, dragons are not my cup of tea. At all. Neither are unicorns, vampires, wizards, talking animals, or clowns (especially clowns). It's just not the type of story I enjoy, so there's no point in me asking to see more. Pass.
4) Thriller. There's a query, a synopsis (so far so good), and... an audio file. Yep, instead of sending a reading sample, the author thought it'd be a good idea to record himself reading the first three chapters. Ermm... doesn't really work for me. I'm a visual person (which is probably why I've never really gotten into this whole audiobook business). That's why there are submission guidelines. They don't exist to make your life difficult, they exist to make our life easier. Pass.
5.) Contemporary MG with three POVs. Ooh, I like the pitch; it sounds like something I would have loved when I was that age. Multiple POVs can be difficult to pull of as the manuscript is only as strong as the weakest POV, but the reading sample is awesome. It's got three distinctive voices and so much humour. I'm hopeful that it might be right for my list. Full request.
6.) YA thriller. A full I requested a while back. I had high hopes as I loved the pitch and premise. All in all, it was an intriguing read. It had me guessing and wasn't predictable at any point. The story itself was strong, but unfortunately, it ultimately lacked depth and I didn't connect emotionally. At some point I stopped caring about the MC's fate. Not a great sign. Though it may not have been quite the right fit for me, I'm convinced the author will find a good home for it. Pass.
7.) Romance. I'm desperate to find some great adult romance, so everytime I spot a romance submission in my inbox, I cross my fingers. The pitch sounds like it could be a fun read, but the writing in the chapters isn't convincing. Major grammatical issues and long-winded and incomprehensible sentences. It's like the author is trying too hard to sound literary and intellectual. Shame. Pass.
8.) Commercial WF. The query promises me plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. When I read the sample chapters I don't laugh once. That's why I have trust issues, people. With the right amount of humour, this premise could actually work. Without it, it's just a pretty average story. Pass.
9.) Errmm what? Usually, I'd never share specifics, but I'm still trying to figure out whether this is real or spam. So here it is, the full and original query:
"first and far most i know and understand how important and precious your time is so i wont take up too much of it. here are three page of the next best thing the that will wow and woo the public. its my mesmerizing biography title [...] this stunning biography of me is long over due and is ready to be an international best seller for years to come. i have over a hundred major hotels in Jamaica, Barbados,St THOMAS,ST LUCIA,THE CAYMAN ISLANDS TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO AND BELIZE STANDING BY TO SELL MY BOOK IN THERE GIFT SHOPS. SO I HOPE YOU TWO CAN SEE GREAT POTENTIAL THIS BOOK HAS. THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND I HOPE TO HEAR FROM U SOON"
Sounds legit. Full request.
Jokes. Pass. Obviously.
10.) Psychological Thriller. A response to one of my #MSWL tweets in which I mentioned I was looking for an awesome stalker thriller. Great pitch, really intriguing premise, and I LOVE the opening chapters. I have incredibly high expectations when it comes to psychological thrillers, so I hope this one won't disappoint me. Full request.
And to end this on a high, here the promised picture of Hottie McHottie.