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Saturday, July 9, 2016

24 Foolproof Strategies to Ensure Your Query Letter is Rejected

Here are 24 foolproof strategies to guarantee that an editor, agent or publisher says “no” to your query:
  1. Disregard the published submission guidelines.
  2. Begin your query with “Dear editor” or “Dear agent.”
  3. Don’t tailor your query to a particular editor or agent.
  4. Copy and paste your query without changing the name of the last editor or agent to whom you sent it.
  5. Write poorly.
  6. Permeate the query with multiple spelling and grammatical errors.
  7. Fail to offer a fresh angle on a topic.
  8. Fail to demonstrate that you're currently reaching readers.
  9. Pitch something the agent doesn't represent or the publisher doesn’t publish.
  10. Pitch something the recipient just published.
  11. Pitch “old news.”
  12. Pitch something no one cares about.
  13. Assure the reader that there’s nothing out there like this.
  14. Prove you’re unfamiliar with the genre by listing comp titles that bear no similarity to yours.
  15. Include no comps and claim your book is entirely unique.
  16. Drop the name of well-known authors, as potential endorsers, but misspell them.
  17. Use the sentence “This book is my memoirs.”
  18. Assure the recipient that you plan to start building social media, networking and seeking speaking engagements.
  19. Rather than offering fresh ideas for ways you will promote a book, simply let them know that you’re willing to do anything the publisher asks.
  20. Fail to include your name and appropriate contact information.
  21. Over-share, revealing too much personal information.
  22. Demand that the publisher publish your writing.
  23. Accuse the recipient of being terrible at her job if she doesn’t jump at the opportunity to publish what you’re pitching.
  24. Indicate that you’re unwilling to promote the work.
With very little effort at all, you can ensure that an editor, agent or publisher says “no” to your query!

But if you want a YES, check out this brief ebook buide for insider tips on Writing Query Letters That Shine.


  1. One that I (Elaina Whittenhall) rejected immediately without reading much further was addressed to "Dear Sirs." Pretty sure women permeate the workplace these days, and I'm one of them!


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