1. Include your contact details - You would be surprised by how many people don’t include their email address or phone number. If your query is great and we want to get in touch with you, then make it easy for us. It could be as simple as adding a footer to your document with your name, email address, and phone number.
2. Speaking of email, please have a
professional address. It’s pretty amusing (and not in a good way) when someone’s email is email@example.com. Really? Be
professional. FirstnameLast@wherever is standard.
3. The dreaded cc. Avoid cc-ing twenty
different agencies on one email submission. It’s tacky. Take the time to submit your manuscript to one agent at a time. Make sure to check each agency’s website for their policy regarding submitting a manuscript to multiple agents within the agency. Most prefer authors to query one agent at a time. They’‘ll appreciate that you respect the process.
4. Timing. Has an agency taken a bit
longer than you thought they would with your submission? Unfortunately, it happens from time to time. The best way to handle this is check the website’s submission guidelines and see how long it’s been since your submission. A kind prompt to check on the status is much better than a berating phone call. Also, be aware that some agencies do not reply to queries they are not interested in. Unfortunately, sometimes no response is an answer in and of itself.
5. Speaking of phone calls – in all
likelihood the receptionist does not know the exact status of your manuscript. Remember the agent you queried and send an email instead. We’ve seen it all—even one writer who was so eager to get his manuscript represented that he called every day to check in on it. Take our advice - Don’t do that!
And perhaps the most important tip of all: Be resilient.
You’re a writer, which means you have gumption and guts and you have to be okay with rejection. We know it’s hard and no one likes it, but it comes with the territory. If an agency reads your manuscript and it doesn’t strike a chord with them, that’s okay.Don’t give up on your writing. Be resilient and good things will come.