I sent out some query letters this afternoon. Every agency has a different idea of a query: synopsis + 50 pages, first five pages + synopsis, just a query, etc. It’s not a surprise that there is not a science to this. Anything to do with an art medium is going to be subjective. I am told that book publishers are pretty good as gauging how well a book will sell but my guess is that their batting average is not as high as they’d like us to believe. I’ve read books that I thought should have gained a wider audience yet there is no explaining the success of Dan Brown.
My biggest issue today with rolling the dice and sending out these letters is trying to paste content from a Word document into gmail. Somewhere in the electronic ether these two are at odds. Formatting goes haywire and I end up scouring through fifty pages of text in an email to make sure that everything looks right. Why the two can’t play together is beyond me. It is also beyond me why gmail has such a horrible choice of default fonts. I converted everything to sans serif once I pasted it because it was showing up as three different fonts when it was pasted. That’s a minor irritant but it’s still annoying. At least now I’ve got every type of request in my gmail and any future queries I can just modify what I’ve sent before. With my luck I’ll stumble upon a promising agent that wants everything triple-spaced in comic sans and the first sixty-three pages pasted into the email. Who am I kidding, I’d follow even the most bizarre request if it meant a contract. Like Calvin, my artistic integrity only goes so far.