Query Queries: Is it better to send a query over ‘snail mail’ or email?

So, which is better – a query sent via email or dropped into the mailbox?  Please keep in mind that almost all agents have personal, detailed submission guidelines in which they say exactly what they want to receive in a submission and how they want to receive it.  So almost always, you will not have a choice in how to send materials.

Just send what they ask for, how they asked for it. 

This seems so very obvious, but you’d be amazed how many agents never read queries because the author didn’t follow the submission guidelines.  Virtually all agents have submission guidelines on their websites, easily letting you know what genres they represent, what kind of materials they want you to send, and exactly how they want you send them.

However, if you have a choice on which way to send in your query, I don’t see any logic in sending it via snail mail. They’re more of a hassle to physically produce, and they cost money to send.  These days, 90 percent or more of queries are sent over email for two very good reasons: Email is 1) quicker, in terms of sending submissions and agents’ response time, and 2) it’s free.

Query QueriesWriting Life

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