Querying is a numbers game, and there’s no shame in playing it. Just as agents receive hundreds of submissions, you can submit to hundreds of different agents. The right agent is out there for you — you just have to find them! And it might not be the first person you submit to; it might be the 50th! Keep trying!

How To Submit
Send in your query letter however they ask for it. If you’ve found that they prefer email, then email it. If they prefer snail mail, then print it out, and take it to the post office.
If you can’t find their preference, call and ask an assistant at the agency. If you can’t do that for some reason, submit the old-fashioned way: by snail mail. Print it out on nice white paper, and mail it with a self-addressed, stamped envelope so they can reply to you.

Don’t forget to include your contact information in your Query Letter. For an emailed submission, you don’t need to include your physical address, just type out your email address and phone number under your name. For a mailed submission, type it up like a formal business letter with your name, address, email, and phone number.

Include a Sample, But Just a Sample
Almost across the board, agents will say they do NOT want to see your manuscript or proposal right away. They don’t have the space, time, or bandwidth for it. That doesn’t mean however, that you shouldn’t send a sample of your work. You should. The first 5 pages only, whether they ask for it or not. If you’re submitting by email, paste those pages in the body of the email just below your query; do NOT send them as an attachment.

Email Subject Line
If you’re sending a submission by email, you have to give it a subject line. Resist the urge to do anything clever here. Anything.

“Your Next Great Book” or “The Best Romance You’ve Ever Read” or “Quick! Million Dollar Book Deal Inside!!!!” will not help you seem professional, and could get your message sent to spam jail. You should not use even a single exclamation point.

The only acceptable subject line is your name + the word “QUERY.”
(i.e., Jane Doe – QUERY)

Batch ‘Em
Even though you have dozens of agents you want to query, you should only send out query letters to 5 to 10 at a time. Sending them out in small batches will give you an opportunity to make changes to your query or adjust your strategy as you get feedback. If you send out 150 letters all at once, there’s no taking them back.

Next, we wait…

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