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I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve queried too early in the past. It wasn’t until recently, however, that it occurred to me that the dangers of querying too early don’t just apply to your manuscript—they applies to your query, as well.
Writers spend months—sometimes even years—revising, and editing, and polishing our manuscripts until they gleam like the Walkie-Talkie skyscraper in London (except maybe minus the accidental death ray capabilities). What we sometimes don’t realize, however, is that we need to spend just as much effort making our query letters shine.
You see, the query letter is the first impression. It’s what agents and editors see before they even take a look at your initial pages—and unfortunately, if your query letter doesn’t grab their attention, chances are likely that many will never make it to your pages.
I know why it happens. By the time we get to the query stage, writers are usually itching to start the submission process. After all, we’ve spent loads of time making the manuscript near-perfect, and submissions are the natural next step. It’s scary, and exciting, and all-too easy to jump in immediately.
But if you take the time to get your query critiqued, if you make sure that your stakes are clear, your plot isn’t confusing and your premise is attention-grabbing, if you take your time to get your query right, your odds of success will be much better than if you jump in with the first or second draft of that query you slapped together last night.
Don’t rush and take your time to perfect your query. It may be difficult to restrain yourself now, but you’ll be glad you did later.
What steps do you take before sending out your query?
Is your query ready for submission? Writer @Ava_Jae discusses the dangers of submitting without a refined query. (Click to tweet)
The dangers of querying too early don't just apply to your MS. (Click to tweet)