Day #28 – Family Pets and a Pony Named Starfish

by Jennie Goloboy

As stated throughout our NANO Coffee Breaks, I’m often surprised at the things received within most query letters, specifically things that don’t need to be included.

1. Pictures of  family and/or pets (yes both have happened)

Your children are adorable, as are your pets! We are big fans of both at Red Sofa– check out our logo, which represents an actual, paperclip-eating kitty named Molly (and the actual sofa). Unfortunately this doesn’t help in determining if a book is good fit for any agent.

2. Non-related skills

If your job is related to the book, or will help in the book’s promotion, please mention it! I was delighted to find out that my client Joe McCourt works in advertising, and that my client Marquita Hockaday, who wrote a historical YA, is a history teacher. If there are special skills that would come in handy at a promotional event, I would love to know. ex: my client Jamie Wyman can eat fire. Agents always need to know if their clients can eat fire.

3. Where the book idea came from

Of course there are degrees in field, etc. If your urban fantasy is inspired by many years on the police force, prospective agents should know that information. If you were walking on the beach on a sunny day and saw a starfish; deciding to write a book about a girl and her pony named Starfish, I really don’t need to know.

4. That you have met with other agents, but they have all turned you down

Do you use this approach when dating?