Monday, May 12, 2014

Using Canned Responses for Query Letters

One of the things I've seen in query do's and don't lists is authors who copy and paste their submissions into another email and send it out. Sometimes you make mistakes and forget to write the correct agent name, and sometimes the formatting is off.

Well I am going to walk you through never making that mistake again. This is what you need to do:

If you're a gmail user on your settings tab on the right side under your photo when you open gmail click on


It takes you to this page:

On the left side where it says 'labs' you're going to click on that. This is what the next page looks like:

Now scroll down to where you see 'Canned Responses' and click 'enable'.

Then scroll to the bottom and click save changes. 

Now, go back to your email and hit compose.

This is where you paste in your query information. You'll notice on the bottom right a downward facing arrow. Hover over that until the canned response menu pops up. Now, hover over canned responses. This is what your page will look like:

You're going to choose new canned response where a menu will pop up asking you to label your new entry. Label it accordingly. I have only a few canned responses right now as I just went through and deleted old ones I was no longer using. 

Now that you've done all that your new canned response is saved. When you want to send a query out all you do is repeat the step above where you hove over canned responses, and then you just click on 'insert' 'query title' of whatever you want to insert. 

Why should you do this? 

1. It will save you time when you query.
2. You will avoid making juvenile mistakes, like not having your query formatted the same for every part of it. One of the don't items I recently saw Carole Blake post was not having the same font, font size, and color in your entire query. Don't be that writer. 
3. You want it to look professional. Do it once, and you can ensure it's professional every time you send it. 
4. You won't have to do anything other than the introduction. 
5. This is what your query should look like:

Dear [Agent Name],

[Insert specific reason why you are querying them here, why did you choose them]

[Canned query] 

This will be so much easier for you to do once you begin to treat your 'hobby' of being a writer as a business. Yes, it's all fun and games, but let's make sure those games are all polished. 


  1. Very cool info, Missy. Thanks! Now to get a new gmail account just for querying! (My other one is just a bunch of junk mail).

  2. Shari, it's definitely important! Glad you like the info!

  3. This is advise is priceless! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks, Missy. I'm going to use this.


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