Operation Query Tip #1

You know how much I love my Operations. It makes me feel like a doctor. Which is what I considered doing for about a month in undergrad. Then realized cutting people open wasn’t quite my bag.

Moving on. I get a lot of wonderful queries. I get a few really awful queries. And sometimes I get queries that just make a few little mistakes. My query scenario is much like Goldilocks’ dilemma.

So I introduce to you: Operation Query Tip. When I find something in a query that I think will adversely affect a writer’s chances of getting past an agent’s query slush pile–I will post–and hopefully help out a bit in this incredibly hard industry.

Today’s hot tip is as follows:

Small font! GASP! Eeeeek! Seriously. Bad bad news. Agents are staring at a computer screen for about 10-12 hours a day, reading manuscripts, queries, answering emails, working on proposals, writing to their clients, cough tweeting cough, etc.

Whenever I get a query with tiny font, part of me thinks, “Oh my gosh, is it worth it to have to squint and get all close to my computer screen to read this sucker?” And of course I always do. But I’ll be frank: it sucks.

Example:

Right? No Bueno! So use a normal sized font. Test it out on a friend’s computer if you aren’t sure how it will translate. I swear it’s worth it. I know it wouldn’t seem like a small font could make or break you, but you never know. After reading 47 queries in a row, a small fonted query might just break the camel’s back.

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7 thoughts on “Operation Query Tip #1

  1. This is exactly what separates you from other agents, Bree. You breathe life to your posts. Giving your posts a personal touch screams sincerity. I can’t even begin to tell you how many blogs out there just splash their site with boring banter so they can have something to post. Just another reason to love you, Bree!!

  2. I think this is going to be a great series. We can use any help you can give us. I swear I’ve stared at my latest query enough that I memorized it trying to get it right. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Doctor Bree has a nice ring to it…

    You would think small font (or large, obnoxious fonts) would be kind of a common-sense thing, but I guess not. But – someone might have their default font set too low and their resolution may not let them realize how it’ll look on someone else’s screen. Always a good idea to check.

    Thaaaanks. I’m looking forward to more of these!

    • You make an EXCELLENT point. The font could look huge on your computer. And the size could get lost in translation. Whenever I am querying an editor with a manuscript, I usually send the initial query to a few people in the office to make sure everything looks good.

  4. Great Operation topic, keep ’em coming!

    And a tip for you when the next teeny weeny fonted query shows up (because, alas, not everyone would have read your words of wisdom; definitely their loss):

    On a Windows computer, just press CTRL and the + keys (simultaneously). Repeat until the teeny weenies have been magnified to your liking :)

    On a Mac, I believe it’s the Apple/Command key and again the + key at the same time.

    Hope that helps!

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