Literary agent Stephen Barbara at Foundry Literary would appreciate it if you'd all stop perfecting your query letters.
It's making for a great deal of confusion in the agent world.
He's been receiving some very polished sales pitches, which you might think is a good thing. Haven't agents complained in the past about the dreadful letters that show up in their in-box?
Back in those days, an agent could judge the quality of the author's manuscript by the quality of the query. Those who couldn't write well didn't produce a good query letter, and it was easy to figure out who would get a request for pages and who would get the form rejection.
Times have changed. Aspiring authors can find all kinds of information available all over the Internet on how to write the dreaded query. There's forums to workshop the things, agent blogs to submit to for editing and websites that provide formatting tips.
Poor Mr. Barbara has been led down the garden path with these well-crafted letters, to the point that he's been reading more manuscript pages than ever before, and it's wasting his time.
The query letters don't reflect the author's talent. He's running across some dreadful prose that he once avoided based on the query.
Agents are busy and the more time they waste on writing not worth reading, the less time they have to read the brilliant manuscripts. Yours and mine.
Don't dwell on the query. Dwell on the writing, on the manuscript itself. That's where most of the hard work lies, in the most subjective element of finding an agent to represent you. Of course there's showers of shite coming out of the big publishing houses, but someone thought it was good. You have to read it, like it or not, to see what makes it these days.
Until then, don't bother the folks at Foundry Literary with great queries unless you can back up the promise with stellar writing.