Yesterday I had my first day as an intern at Andrea Hurst and Associates. She has two other interns this summer, so we all arrived and immediately were set to work opening the mail because there were piles and piles of manuscripts to read! I came home with a bag full of partials, book proposals, and fulls to read. Some people might be overwhelmed, but at this point I’m just really excited. What gems am I going to find? What horror stories will I garner?
I also started going through some query letters. For those of you who don’t know, a query letter is what the author sends with a short description of his or her book. Then hopefully the agent will request a partial (usually 20-50 pages), and if that goes well the full manuscript, and if that goes well they’ll consider signing the author. Query letters are given a LOT of attention on “how to get published” forums because everyone can send them. I am more apprehensive about doing query letters because my decision seems to have important consequences: if I reject the author, that’s like telling someone their baby is ugly and I don’t want to have anything to do with it; if I ask for a partial, I have to read that partial. And it’s already obvious that my reading time is going to be valuable because there are MOUNTAINS of things to read.
Obviously, I don’t have much advice to give out yet, but what I can say is that your query letter should be well-written. If not, I’m going to use that as a way to judge the partial I would have to read and say it’s not worth my time.
Now I’ve got some reading to do!
Last thing I read: A submission to Andrea 🙂