The Query Letter Game: Sadness Forever

The Query Letter Game: Sadness Forever

Sending out letters that you're unsure even have the correct content—despite reading tons of guides, following instructions, and asking fellow writers for help—over and over again is highkey humiliating.

Query Letters suck for writers. But that's not the tea.

The tea is that I personally think the Query Letter Dance could be streamlined, thanks to tech, and it's lowkey necessary.

I know you work hard, publishing folx

Believe me

Of course, publishers and literary agents have thousands upon thousands of submissions to pour through. They also probably have some absolutely bongo-drums submissions. Mine included; I'm ridiculous.

Writers are kind of bananas in pajamas; you have to have a bit of egomania in you to want to share your work with thousands of people.

Which means...publishers and literary agents have to deal with that...in their inboxes, every single bloody day, multiplied by possibly thousands.

The point is: it isn't easy for them, either. It's probably very rewarding, but it also seems very difficult.

I also have to lowkey assume that by making the barrier high, they probably stave off the writers who are not serious.

I do not question the dedication to their craft or their professionalism.

What I question is the process of Query Letters themselves, because I am nothing if not a tech weirdo who looks at systems and asks "can we not do this another way?"

The process of sending query letters blows

The process of suffering a sea of submissions also probably blows

Why we can't have an automated system for this sort of thing, to lesson the burden on both parties, is beyond me.

I'm not talking QueryTracker; it's cool but it isn't quite what I'm suggesting.

The actual method of sending query letters feels like the hiring process (which is equally stuck in the past), which I noped out of to be a full-time freelancer.

In both processes, you fight a luck and numbers game. And you're never quite sure if you've done it right, in the end.

That's where most writers give up. Some fight for years to get recognized by a literary agent and/or a publisher.

So what's the news?

Well, I'm at the stage where I'm sending Query Letters, but I'm also very aware I will most likely have to self-publish CONSTELIS VOSS.

I am incredibly reluctant to do this on my own, because I know just what's involved (marketing chops, remember?).

Here's where I am, take it or leave it.

I wrote it authentically, and as my LinkedIn userbase knows, that's what I'm here for. I can't not be legit.

In summary

Of whatever the hell this is

I'm not going to apologize for ranting; this is the news of what I'm doing.

It's 2020: my already weak filters have been obliterated. I do not like systems, gates, or things I think need a tech upgrade to better serve the humans employing them.

This is not news to anyone who knows me.

What I am going to apologize about is that this is a tale as old as time, and writers the world over have to go through this, when we definitely have the technology to do this differently.

I am going to apologize that there isn't an easier system to get a pulse on work for literary agents and publishers; chatbots, AI, filtering, something—anything but reams of emails and site-bound forms.

Wouldn't that be nice? Feeling a short LGBT+ fantasy story this evening? Then click some filters, maybe have a conversation with a robot, and get your results.

There has got to be a better way than what we have. A beautiful unified solution: something with good UI, something with easy-breezy UX.

Something both parties would love to use, that makes the process simpler, and if possible, delightful.

I'll probably have to code it myself, won't I?

Fuck.

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alex [redacted]

alex [redacted]

I'm just a dude from the 90s, trying to make sense out of being a robot in the future, and failing horribly at it.