Query Letter Mistakes That Will Instantly Get You Rejected

If you are sending out query letters to literary agents, you should know that if you are going to have any chance of getting a publishing deal, every aspect of your query letter should be perfect. Remember that you will be competing with a myriad of other would-be authors. 

And if your query letter is lacking in any way, you will get rejected right away. So it is imperative that you know which mistakes to avoid. 

Here are query letter mistakes that will instantly get you rejected:

  • Misspelled words

Misspelled words are the most embarrassing and damaging mistakes you could make in your query letter. Spelling is one of the most basic skills you can have as a writer, and if your query letter contains a misspelled word, it goes without saying that your query letter will get rejected. 

So before you send out your query letter, make sure that you double check your spelling. Luckily for you, there are a myriad of great spell-checkers available. So take the time to download spell-checkers and run your query letter through them.

  • Incorrect grammar

Aside from misspelled words, yet another embarrassing and damaging mistake is incorrect grammar. Remember that your query letter is meant to convince literary agents to give you a publishing deal. And if your grammar is incorrect in any way, this will damage any chance of you getting a publishing deal.

  • Wrong genre

When you send your query letter, you should make sure that you label your query letter under the right genre. Remember that literary agents are very busy. They get new query letters every day, and they don’t have the time or patience to double check with you, whether your genre is correct or not. 

So if they see that you labeled your query letter under the wrong genre, they would most likely not want to work with you.

  • Overly long

As it was stated earlier, literary agents are usually very busy. This is why you should make your query letter quick and concise. This does not mean that you make your query letter very short. 

Instead, you should limit the contents of your query letter to what’s only necessary. You don’t need to add flowery wordplay to your query letter. 

Remember that your main intent is to create interest in your work, so don’t summarize your whole book in one go.

  • Vague concept

When you write your query letter, it is important that you make your concept as clear as possible. Your query letter is supposed to show the literary what your book is all about. 

It’s supposed to give a short but an efficient overview of your book and why you wrote it. So be clear and concise with your language. 

Be straightforward and show the literary agents why they should sign up your book.

  • Clunky titles

Titles are meant to be short, snappy and engaging. If you make your titles overly long, they may come out as too clunky. 

The literary agent may even get annoyed and not bother with reading the rest of your query letter. So do yourself a favor, and keep your titles short and sweet.

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