Janet Reid

Literary Agent

By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

Effusive praise in a query just sets my teeth on edge. Actually almost any praise in a query sets my teeth on edge.

A query is not about me.
It's about your book.

Tell me about the book; not how fabu I am (I already know that)
#querytip

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

I don't know why query letter writers apologize for not being published previously.

Fully 1/3 of my clients had ZERO pub credits when I signed them, and then sold their books.

#querytip

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

If you spend the first three paragraphs of your query extolling my Amazingness, you're not talking about your book.
I already know I'm the cat's jammies. Don't waste time telling me. 🙄🙄

#QueryTip

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips
Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips
Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips
Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

"horrific thriller" does not mean a thriller about horrific events. #querytip

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

A query letter that starts out "in lieu of a query I am sending..." goes straight to spam. Email address flagged as "divert to spam from now on." #querytip

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

I believe what I see, not what you tell me: "I love your client's work, particularly Laird Barren" #QueryTip #proofreadingday

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

A series of events is NOT a plot. A plot has events, yes, but also, what changed for the MC, and what it cost the MC to change. #QueryTip (I pass on queries with no plot)

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

So, just in case you're revising your query, here's a line you can take out: "I know my book needs work." #QueryTip

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

Please don't use "the greatest" to describe your book unless you are writing about he who floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. #querytip

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

Tone-deaf closing line in a query: "I look forward to your speedy response." Use: "thank you for your time and consideration." #Querytip

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

Don't quote rejection letters in a query. Even/especially if it's "reasonable" It's NOT a selling point under any circumstances. #QueryTip

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

Reach out to an agent's clients for references only AFTER yo get an offer of rep from said agent. Not before. Any questions?? #QueryTip

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

Why you query ONLY when ready to send ms right away:
Query to my inbox: 12:26pm today
Rquest for full: 12:46pm today
#querytip

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

I respond so poorly to "MUST READ" in a query that putting it in the subject line is something you might want to reconsider. #QueryTip

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

It's better to just leave off the salutation rather than write Dear Sir/Madam in a query letter. #QueryTip

Janet Reid
@Janet_Reid
Literary Agent
By day I'm a literary agent in NYC. By night I'm the QueryShark. My favorite color is fuchsia. I love maps, interrobangs, and twisty plot lines.
1 MSWL
31 Tips

One thing that really never belongs in your query letter: your GPA. No, not even that 4.2 you're so proud of. #QueryTip