Sunday, May 20, 2012

Query Letters- When to Revise

Ah the query letter.  Bane of my existence.  Okay, actually I think the synopsis is the bane of my existence, but the query is a close second. There was a brief post about the importance of writing a good query on Janet Reid's website here in which she talks about how sometimes that query can stay with you for a long, long time- even becoming part of your back cover copy.

So how do you know when you have a strong query? Of course there are countless resources on the web for how to write a query, but how do you know for sure- 100%- that you've got it down? I think the obvious answer is that you know you've got it down when agents actually request material.  But at what rate? Is a couple of requests out of 20, or 30... or 50 enough, or is that just the ratio of agents willing to overlook a so-so query if the idea is good?

And the next question is when do you decide to revise your query? It's hard to know if a lack of response means you have a crappy idea or just a poor query.

What do you think? Does anyone have personal experience to share?


  1. For me, when a query doesn't get much of a response, so far it's meant my novel isn't quite ready. So if I find myself struggling with a query I take a closer look at the manuscript.

    I also spend a lot of time critiquing queries, so I can honestly say I see it time and time again. If a person revises, revises, revises, and it's still not right, I definitely encourage them to go back to the manuscript.

    That said, I've done my fair share of struggling with them. And seeing as how I haven't sold a novel yet, I'm still struggling. I don't think it ever ends!

    1. Thanks for the input! I'll just ignore that last sentence. :)


I'd love to hear your musings :)