Here's where you come in. I need to know exactly which questions to take out and suggestions for new questions about query slush or query letters. I need you to leave a comment with numbers you want out, numbers you want to stay, and suggestions for new material.
The list is too long now and I really can't add more questions unless some are removed. Agents don't have time for so many questions and slimming this list down will likely lead to more interviews.
Note: If I don't get any comments or get just a handful, I'm going to assume nobody wants me to do any further interviews and stop petitioning agents for their time. So that's a warning that I need and expect your help.
Here's the current questions:
1. Is there a better or worse time of year to query?
2. Does one typo or misplaced comma shoot down the entire query?
3. Do you look at sample pages without fail or only if the query is strong?
4. Do you have an assistant or intern go through your queries first or do you check all of them?
5. Do you keep a maybe pile of queries and go back to them for a second look?
6. If the manuscript has a prologue, do you want it included with the sample pages?
7. How important are comp titles? Is it something you want to see in a query?
8. Some agencies mention querying only one agent at a time and some say query only one agent period. How often do you pass a query along to a fellow agent who might be more interested?
9. Do you prefer a little personalized chit-chat in a query letter, or would you rather hear about the manuscript?
10. Most agents have said they don’t care whether the word count/genre sentence comes first or last. But is it a red flag if one component is not included?
11. Writers hear a lot about limiting the number of named characters in a query. Do you feel keeping named characters to a certain number makes for a clearer query?
12. Should writers sweat the title of their book (and character names) or is that something that is often changed by publishers?
13. How many queries do you receive in a week? How many requests might you make out of those?
14. Many agents say they don't care if writers are active online. Could a twitter account or blog presence by a writer tip the scales in getting a request or offer? And do you require writers you sign to start one?
15. Some writers have asked about including links to their blogs or manuscript-related artwork. I’m sure it’s not appropriate to add those links in a query, but are links in an email signature offensive?
16. If a writer makes changes to their manuscript due to feedback should they resend the query or only if material was requested?
17. What bio should an author with no publishing credits include?
18. What does ‘just not right mean for me’ mean to you?
19. What themes are you sick of seeing?
20. Do you consider yourself a hands-on, editorial type of agent?
21. What’s the strangest/funniest thing you’ve seen in a query?
22. What three things are at the top of your submission wish list?