A Lesson on Agents

A while back, when I was sending out query letters for Caroline Eversole and the Gilded Gauntlet, I sent about six letters before I realized I hadn’t been changing the name of the agent. So… that whole batch were all addressed to the same person.

And, I don’t know about you, but when people send me review requests addressing me by the wrong name, (or as Mr. Morgan) I auto-delete. (I’ve been called a few random names, but Ashley is the name that stands out the most.)

Why auto-delete? Well, first, it’s rude. Second, it implies that the sender did not thoroughly read my contact page or any of my “about me.” And, if you’re querying an agent, you can bet your butt that they’ll delete the email addressed by the wrong name faster than I do.

I don’t blame them – if you’re not giving your full attention to who you’re querying, then why should the agent?

The same goes for the “mass email” letters, you know the ones that have “sent via some weird address.” Those literally reek of spam.

But, back to the point of the post – after I saw my mistake, I did not send any more queries that day. I felt awful. I felt stupid. I’d made such a simple and horrible mistake. It’s safe to assume that all of those querying went right into the digital recycling bin.

Since that accident, I triple check any query that I send out.

I’ve also gotten better at writing queries, which from my experience, is the hardest thing to write. But, as my writing skills improved, my query-writing skills also improved. Shocker!

“BB, if you’re a self-published writer, why are you sending query letters to agents?”

To be honest, there is still that little spark of hope that an agent will spot me and choose to bring me and my writing into the big league. I love self-publishing and being my own boss and all that jazz, but being a traditionally published writer has that allure of winning, of success, of being recognized as a good writer. It’s the sense of accomplishment, recognition, and potential to be seen for something greater than an indie writer.

And, even if I only have one traditionally published book, I will reach more people that way and build up a fan base. Just because I’m self-publishing doesn’t mean I’m not trying for the gold; I think all writers should continually be striving toward the moon, striving toward the next big book.

For me, writing for a living is still the dream. I want to get there someday, and I won’t give up easily.

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