Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Query Rejections

After reading a batch of e-queries, I tracked some of the biggest reasons they received a rejection.

I think the number-one reason is that the query just didn’t interest me. The book was in one of my genres, but the story didn’t feel different or special enough. For example, it was a mystery that didn’t have a hook or felt very similar to every other mystery on the market or a romance that felt like something I’d already read before.

There were also a number of queries that felt either like pre-queries or felt very incomplete. They were queries that told me nothing about the book, often times going on and on about the author’s credentials in a completely different field, or they were queries that simply fell short.

As always there were a number of queries for books that just aren’t for me at all. Sometimes I think they are queries that would be better for Jacky, but since she’s no longer in the business, the author decided to simply send it to me instead. Examples of books like this would be nonfiction spirituality or new age titles. These are areas that Jacky previously handled that neither Kim nor I represent. Now that Jacky has left I get a number of queries for books like this and they are automatic rejections. I also received queries for screenplays and children’s books, neither of which anyone at BookEnds has ever handled.

Believe it or not I get a number of queries that I just do not understand. I think the biggest problem with queries like this is that the author is too much in her own head. She knows the story so well that she forgets she’s talking to an audience who knows nothing. It’s either that or the query has been edited so much that the author left in only her favorite lines and they don’t necessarily match or make sense.