By Jennie Goloboy
When I open a query letter, I am looking for one critical thing: what is this manuscript about?
So the worst possible thing authors can do in a query letter, if wanting to appeal to me, is to make the query letter about themselves rather than your book. This usually happens in two ways.
One is by attempting to woo me with a long, distinguished bio– I’ll admit that I usually skip it! The other is that the author talks about all the things that have recently gone wrong in life. Understandably, I will feel bad, but I’ll still skip ahead to see what the manuscript is actually about.
Do I ignore authors’ biographies? No, I certainly don’t! But I’d never consider representing a book I disliked, or felt I couldn’t sell, no matter how much I liked the author. Remember, I am contracted not to represent an author in general, but to represent specific books.