Literary Agent Query Letters

I’ve taken the plunge and begun sending out query letters to literary agents. I made a goal for myself: “Query 3 Before TV.” I sent my first three letters last night and treated myself to some TV. Today I hope to complete three more. Each agent has their own set of specializations and submittal guidelines so I’ve got to determine which agencies are the best fit to submit, then to which agent in each firm to send the query (they often specialize in different things and an author can only send to one agent within each agency), then which of my stories is the most likely to be of interest to that agent, and then I need to write the query letter and send the story while being sure I follow their guidelines exactly.

It is somewhat tedious and time-consuming, but it’s also interesting and I’m learning quite a bit as I go along. Each is a very, very, long shot. I’ve heard of great award-winning authors that got over 100 rejections in a row, and it appears most authors never get signed no matter how many query letters they send. Even if one is able to sign with an agent, there is no guarantee that they’ll be able to sell an author’s work to a publisher, and even if a publisher buys the book, the mount of money paid to the author might be quite small and paid in portions only if milestones are reached. The book itself could be far from a commercial success. Suffice it to say, I have no plans to quit my day job (which I love as much as writing anyway.)

Still, what the heck? It’s a fun and challenging adventure in which I’m learning more about myself and the world, so that alone makes it well worth the ride.

With Love,


About russtowne

I'm awed by the beauty of nature and the power of love and gratitude. Some of my favorite sensory experiences include waves crashing on rocky shores, waterways in ancient redwood and fern-filled forests, and rain. My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children.
This entry was posted in A Writer's Journey, Literary Agents, Query Letters, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Literary Agent Query Letters

  1. All the best Russ! Happy for your step, that’s what it takes.

  2. Will never know what they say if you don’t ask

  3. All the best, Russ. Interesting. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  4. Mrs. P says:

    Wonderful to hear, Russ! I wish you much success and I am going you will find someone who appreciates your talent and energy! As always, I will be watching as you maneuver your way through the agent labrynth.

  5. tunisiajolyn84 says:

    I love your attitude about this and your motivation to keep trying just for the experience of trying. That’s great and inspiring. I think I am going to adopt this same attitude when I start submitting articles to different websites next month.

  6. Good luck Russ!!!!! It will be interesting to follow this part of your journey!!!!! I’m cheering you on!

  7. ksbeth says:

    i so admire you for all of this. best of luck to you on this latest quest, russ –

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