Personalizing Your Query Letter & Examples
It's no surprise, when trying to find a literary agent to represent you, many are asking that you personalize your query.
When I first started querying, this is something I failed to do time and time again - mostly because I didn't know it was something agents wanted.
Side note: I also didn't read as many agent profiles as I should have.
But, the more I engaged in the writing community, the more I realized how imperative this was for "some" agents.
Another side note: not ALL agents require personalized queries. Honestly, some prefer not having a personalized query at all.
So when it came to personalizing queries the last few years, I usually used the same format, but I changed it up a bit, depending on the agent and their profile. For example, If there was something they posted on #MSWL that I had, I'd include that. Or, if something they mentioned in an interview stood out to me, and/or I really connected with it, I'd be sure to add it in my query.
Here are a few examples I've used:
How did I find this specific information on literary agents?
As noted above, I LIVED in the #MSWL hashtag. It was helpful for me, and if I could find recent tweets on agents, it made the hunt that much sweeter. I did use this link at times: https://mswishlist.com/
It was helpful because this website narrows down agents' wishlists in one singular place.
I also used the official Manuscript Wishlist & MSWL website: https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/ a lot, and when I was in need of more information, I liked going to Literary Rambles . The author of this website has been around for a long time, she's reputable, and she also links to helpful agent interviews, too!
Last on this part, and this is the MOST important piece, check out their agency website FIRST. The agency website will always be "law" in these situations, and most the time literary agents will have a cutesy paragraph on what it is they want in a book and what they're desperately looking for.
Does it actually work?
Here's the kicker. I really can't say.
I did start to get more full and partial requests, but that was also because my writing improved and so did my query game.
I do think personalizing queries is a stepping stone to creating a connection with a literary agent and to reel them in - which can go far in some cases.
So those are my thoughts. Though, if any of you have experienced an uprise in query requests after personalizing your query, please share your experience in the comment section to help a girl out.
Still have more questions? Leave a comment below.
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Till next time blog world!
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