Whitley Abell

@whitleyabell

Literary Agent @InklingsAgency . Muggle-born Ravenclaw. 13's Next Companion. Fangirl Extraordinaire. Currently open to queries specific to MSWL only (see pinned)

St. Louis, MO

Inklings Literary

Whitley Abell @whitleyabell · Jul 28

Whitley Abell | is supposed to be on HIATUS @whitleyabell

@mwilson63012 I will say... Too often is see authors use the query letter to tell what the book is about, rather than to *pitch* it. For example:

#AskAgent pic.twitter.com/tgDylKAqk2

Sharing this with the broader audience. An example of what agents mean when we say a query should have stakes amd intrigue, not just describe the book. (Forgive the obvious sourcing from online materials. All of me is on vacation, including my brain)
#querytip

Whitley Abell @whitleyabell · Jul 10

Whitley Abell | is supposed to be on HIATUS @whitleyabell

But yes, whether an agent has your query / partial / full MS for an hour / day / month, etc, etc, if it's under revision, withdraw and let us know why. (Expected ETA is appreciated as well).
#querytip

The exception to this being if you're working on an R&R exclusively for one agent. IE, if you have no intention of replacing the main version sent to agents with the R&R version should the requesting agent pass.
(That sentence feels muddy, so pls yell if unclear!)
#querytip

Whitley Abell @whitleyabell · Jun 27

Just a friendly reminder that if your synopsis fades to black—ie, if plot points continue past the purview of the synopsis—you're doing it wrong. Agents/editors are well aware of the risk a spoiled ending; that's the point. #querytip #writetip #YESSpoilers

Whitley Abell @whitleyabell · May 7

If an agent asks for a synopsis, should you:
(a) re-paste in your query or refer agent back to your query
(b) not provide or put "N/A" or " . . . " in the field
(c) explain that your book would be ruined by spoilers or is too broad to summarize
(d) none of the above
#querytip

Whitley Abell @whitleyabell · Apr 20

Lauren Spieller @laurenspieller

don't

comment

on

an

agent's

looks

in

a

query.

#QueryTip #LifeTip #ComeON

I whole-heartedly second this, and also...

maybe don't tell an agent they have their dad's smile or their dad is so proud of them. that's just creepy.

#querytip #wtf

Whitley Abell @whitleyabell · 13 Jul 2017

Just realized I maybe should share this with all y'all in the query trenches...
#querytip #inklingstip #whyagentspass

Whitley Abell @whitleyabell · 4 Oct 2016

This is always a no for me:
"The first ## pages of my MS are [syn for backstory], so [alternative sample explained or requested]
#querytip

Whitley Abell @whitleyabell · 3 Sep 2016

DO be prepared for agents to ask who is offering... we like to know who our competition is. And our odds.
#querytip

Whitley Abell @whitleyabell · 3 Sep 2016

Whitley Abell @whitleyabell

DO alert other agents w/ MS of pending offer and ask that they get back to you by X/X if interested.
#querytip

Replying to @whitleyabell

DON'T send mass email to all agents with query/MS saying you don't like the offering agent and would prefer any one (It happens)
#querytip

The End

The End