STATUS: I spent my day working on three contracts and the last of the outstanding issues. My hope is that we can put them to bed tomorrow.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? SHE WORKS HARD FOR THE MONEY by Donna Summer
(My theme song!)
I never claim to speak for all agents so this might just be a personal dislike but since I can also name 10 agent friends who are turned off by this as well, it might be a little universal. No formal study implemented of course.
I just hate when writers highlight (as if this is the main selling point of the query letter) that their work of fiction is based upon their true life story.
Writers are often told “to write what they know.” I’m good with that. But one’s true life story may or may not translate well into fiction. And if it does, well and good but you really don’t need to include that info in your query–mostly because of how that statement is handled. For some reason, it just comes across as amateurish rather than professional.
If the story is amazing, it will stand on its own despite the “true story” declaration. Let the story sell itself. Once taken on by the agent and then sold to a publisher, the true story aspect can then make a good human interest angle for promotion.
And before someone has a coronary, I still read those query letters and try and view it with an unbiased eye but I have to be truthful. I work a little harder at it since I’m already leaning toward NO.