Never say aliens told you to write it and other query advice from Chuck Sambuchino


I used to think that, querying was like that time I went to a wedding in mom’s Fluevogs and got a matching set of oozy, cheese-grader blisters on my heels ten minutes into the ceremony: painful, but endurable (with enough complimentary champagne). I was wrong.

Apparently, a more appropriate metaphor would be if I had followed up said festivities by running to Seattle–with no pee breaks.

In his How to Land a Literary Agent OnDemand Webinar, his Chunk Sambuchino suggests that writers aim for sending out approximately 80 queries for each project. And that doesn’t mean sending the same email 80 times, it means crafting 80 unique letters carefully tailored to reflect the interests and publishing history of the agent in question, not to mention pulling together the particular proposal components said agent may be requesting.

Here I thought at a mere 18 I had exhausted all possible resources and thought I might as well give up and Never Write Again. I suppose, blisters or not, I should be relieved–particularly because of another comment Sambuchino made in the same webinar, that statistically speaking most authors gain literary agents, not through conference pitches, or contest wins or even ‘accidental’ elevator-confinements—but through queries.

Time to get back in my shoes.

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