Hello all, I am back, eating solid food again (who knew it tastes so good!) and although still weak from eating nothing but three hot dog buns, ten saltine crackers, and a piece of toast over the course of five days last week, I have officially turned the corner. Nothing a little green tea, cough drops, and a celebratory “I can eat again!” pizza can’t cure.
So just a short post for today.
Being out for a while means that I end up reading and responding to queries in bulk, and thus I’m much more attuned to trends. And the current query trend isn’t a good one: people are mentioning that they read the blog but then, when writing their query, ignore everything I have ever said in it.
Don’t get me wrong: I do not expect people to read every single post I have ever written before querying. But I do hope queriers mentioning it will at least read the essentials and make a stab at conforming to the query guidelines.
If you haven’t taken the time to familiarize yourself with the suggestions or attempt to follow them, it’s probably best that you don’t mention the blog at all. At least that way I won’t be confused.
Glad you are up and about, Nathan.
On the plus side I now have about 400+ book options to add to my summer reading pile thanks to the last post question.
I always love to hear what others are reading and liking.
Glad you're better, Nathan.
But I don't know why you think you shouldn't be confused just like the rest of us.
So glad you're feeling better, Nathan. Curious what rules people are breaking, but I'm sure you're way too busy to elaborate.
Adam Heine says
I did that once. I sent you a query and mentioned the blog. The next day I read your post on rhetorical questions for the first time.
Guess what my query started with?
M. K. Clarke says
Glad you're back, Nathan. Great note in "following the rules."
Did you know you are in TOP position at Query Tracker for agent queried?
Glad you're feeling better.
Top 10 Most Queried Agents
1 Nathan Bransford @ Curtis Brown, Ltd.
2 Ethan Ellenberg @ Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency
3 Kristin Nelson @ Nelson Literary Agency, LLC
So great to have you all(most) well and back Nathan =D
Nathan's back! Nathan's back! Hey, everybody, Nathan's back! Nathan's back! Whoo Hoo! Yippee! Yea! WhaHoo! Eeeeee! Happy, happy, happy! Nathan's back! Yay!!!
Er….I mean. Welcome back, Nathan.
Mira… your hilarious (though I do second your sentiment =P)!
Kristin Tubb says
Glad you're feeling better, Nathan. A bounce-back pizza is a good sign!
And now I have a new favorite word: "parping." Thanks, MOB! 😉
~Sia McKye~ says
Glad to hear you're on the mend, Nathan.
As to following guidelines, you make an excellent point. I think many are looking for a connection to get a reading and I can't blame them, but it's wise to cross your T's and dot your i's before doing so, or not say anything.
Phew. Glad you're back & feelin' better!
I'm anon 7:15p
I had a shock when a rejection from Nathan appeared in my mailbox the other day. Evidently my computer took it upon itself to resend, minus a few parts, a query I had mailed him several months ago. (It could have at least sent my new, revised one!)
Maybe, Nathan, you were too sick to notice but I was very embarrassed. So sorry. and I ordered my computer to never send you anything again.
Glad you're better! Hey, maybe my computer missed you too!
Sarah Laurenson says
Good to hear that you're feeling better!
Tracey S. Rosenberg says
*sends you virtual matza ball soup*
(Mine float, by the way.)
Jill of All Trades says
Glad you're on the mend.
Springing vibrantly like a gazelle: that's how we love our Nathoid motion.
Happy to hear you feel better, Nathan.
Maya / מיה says
Glad you're feeling better! Take it easy as you make a full recovery!
Welcome back. It is a pleasure to visit a blog written by an agent with a pleasant demeanor.
Welcome back, Nathan,
I followed your guidelines and researched two agents who had written kids' books I both liked and emulated. I queried them regarding a picture children's book I had completed. I thought I followed the examples set by your published good queries, but got back in one case a xeroxed copy of a not accepting queries form letter of very low quality, and in the other case just a rejection. Now. It could very well be that my story line was not up to standards, considering all you've said about the increasing selectivity going on. And don't take offense I didn't query you yet, that is a yet. I am deep in the throws of pulling together major scenes in a historic novel I have been developing for some time. That is the one I plan to query you on, eventually. And I hope I follow your guidelines enough for a more personal response than my previous attempts have gotten me.
Glad you're feeling better. Must have been a wicked virus. Ick!
Presently I'm reading the 2nd edition of Writers and Illustrators Guide to Childrens Book, paid twenty bucks for it. Been reading it for two weeks and missing writing so much I feel sicker'n Scarlett when she trotted through the fire with Rhett (heard she threw up after that scene) Heck fire man, I just want to contact an agent and write my stories. Lo and behold, I now get a message from an agent everyday and he's much too famous for me to contact. I'm still reading my 'What not to say to an agent' book. Lived in Atlanta all my life and I hate to be rude but now I wonder if finding an agent needs to be on my bucket list. Something I may do before I die.
Annabel Candy says
You may remember me, I've been reading and acting on your indispensable articles for months. My manuscript's coming on but two things are worrying me deeply. I've tried to find the answers and failed and would love your advice. The questions are about a travelogue.
1. In the query letter when choosing a book to compare it to is an old book (A Year in Provence, 1991) better than taking the risk of a newer book that may be selling badly for all I know?
2. It's a true story, so can I write freely about the other real people I met? Do I have to get them to agree to it legally, or should I claim the book's all made up and a huge coincidence if it sounds like any real people? Or is there an alternative in between?
Many thanks for your help with this, I really appreciate your time and am eagerly awaiting your thoughts.
Well Dude, you were gone so long I forgot to check back to see your current posts! I missed the blog event, but that's ok with me because I'm more of a "lurker" than commenter (commentor?). But, I do love your blog – I read it at least once a week – and I guess I too would fall into the query rote of "I'm a follower of your blog" if I were to query you. Not that "that" would be my only reason for query but – well, the phrase just rolls off the keyboard naturally. I gotta tell you though, my favorite blog was the one you gave the "query tips" about what you like to see in a query. Actually, it wasn't your post about form that intrigued me; it was all the comments people submitted with the quirky, uh, pretend queries that really made me laugh. And think seriously about how to query. Not just to you, but to query to any agent. I'm a firm believer that sometimes the outrageous makes the most sensible point.
So, can I challenge you Nathan? Come on, what have you submitted lately? How do YOU query? Or, what did your first query look like, back in the day . .