5 Easy Things You Can Do to Avoid Rejection

11 February, 2015

It’s widely known that agents (and editors) are inundated with queries and submissions.  I scroll through my query inbox at least once a week and probably reject 98% of what comes in.  Some of these rejections might have been avoided, at least leading me to consider the query seriously.  Here are some obvious common mistakes writers make and how they can be avoided:

*Never send a group email to agents.  We like to feel special.  It may feel like a lot of work but address each query you send out to an individual agent.

*Never use a generic salutation.  “Dear Madam” or “Dear Sir” or, simply, “Dear Agent” puts you in the rejection pile, without your letter even being read.

*Never catalog your rejection woes. Telling us how many others have rejected your work or how exhausted you are from sending out queries and being ignored or receiving form rejections does not do you any good.  You sound pitiful.  Is that how you really want to present yourself?

*Never tell us that your book will be the next mega-hit.  Let us be the judge of the potential of your book to succeed.  Gloating about how much money we are going to make together is not persuasive or attractive.

*Never tell us that you know nothing about publishing and are looking to us to educate you.  That is not our job!  Your job is to do some research about the process befoe you ever contact an agent.  In future posts, I’ll share some excellent resources you can use to do just that.

–Joelle Delbourgo