Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry



Hit the office early to finish up some contract work.

Listening To:


Fact:  Shorter query letters get a better request response from agents and editors.

Or to say this point in a different way: the longer your query letter, the more likely an agent or editor will pass on it and not request sample pages. Why? Because it shows you haven’t carefully crafted or honed your query pitch.

In query letters that are short in length, the writer has to make every word count. So the writer is showing a level of craft expertise nailing it succinctly.

So subscribe to the Twitter-verse approach to writing your query pitch. Okay, I’m going to give you more than 136 characters to nail the pitch but any pitch paragraph should not be more than 5 or 7 sentences long. That’s it. (And no cheating and subscribing to the Faulkner method of making a whole sentence last an entire page length).

Less is more!

4 Responses

  1. Matt Borgard said:

    I think this is true of synopses as well. Which is why I’m usually a tad peeved when I see an agent request a 5-10 page synopsis o_0

Denver Skyline Photo © Nathan Forget [Creative Commons] | Site built by Todd Jackson