5 Things NOT To Do In Your Query Letter

Querying an agent is hard, especially when you are just starting out. I know, I’ve been there. But being on the receiving end of the query letter, it’s a lot easier to pinpoint some of the common errors authors make. So here is a short list of what not to do, in hopes of helping even a few first timers.


  1. Do Not Self-Depreciate. I am surprised by how many new authors do this. “I know it’s only my first novel, and probably won’t sell…”  “I don’t have any education, or any real platform…” “You probably don’t have the time to waste on this…” The list goes on. Be confident. Confidence is sexy. Confidence sells.
  2. Do Not Use Bold Type, All Caps, Purple Lettering, or Italics. This does make your query stand out, but not in the way you are hoping. Agents look through many queries and manuscripts every day. Their eyes are beyond tired. Opening one of these emails is like being kicked in the head. You really don’t want that to be your first impression.
  3. Do Not Use a Form Query Letter. You want your writing to sell your work for you. Form letters tell us that you are either too lazy to write your own or incapable. Plus, inevitably you will forget to fill out something so what we will see is this: Dear (Agent’s Name), My book (Your Book Title)…
  4. Do Not Address Your Query To 50 Different Agents. We know you’ve sent out multiple submissions. But we like to think you are looking for an agent that fits you and your book and that you’ve done some research. Besides, I can guarantee you that the submission guidelines are different with each company. Which brings me to the final one…
  5. Do Not Ignore the Submission Guidelines. We don’t instantly reject or delete those that don’t follow our simple guidelines, but most others do. Do yourself a favor, go to the websites and make sure you follow the guidelines.

This is obviously not the full list of everything you shouldn’t do, but it’s a start. If you think it will help someone else, please share it around!


Through the Eyes of a Child

Some of the sentiments here are so beautiful, they brought tears to my eyes.
Love each other.

The Bro Code

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds – “What does love mean?”  The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.

deep love

  • When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.     Billy – age ?


  • Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.     Karl – age 5


  • Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your french-fries without making them give you any of theirs.     Chrissy – age 6


  • Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.     Terri – age 4


  • Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to…

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