do and don't · how to get a request for pages · query problems

How to write a query letter

A query letter’s main function is conveying the pitch for a book. But it has more moving parts than that. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown, with links to more detailed how-to posts on that section. Salutation: “Dear Firstname,” or “Dear Ms. Lastname,” PARAGRAPH 1 Optional intro: A sentence about how you found them: “I read your… Continue reading How to write a query letter

do and don't · how to get a request for pages

The one-line pitch

Editors love one-line pitches. Well-written queries usually have one among the genre and comps: TITLE is a fantasy adventure that chases a mischievous, world-ending ghul across industrial Mumbai. TITLE is steampunk fantasy where Evangeline Denmark’s CURIO meets Steven Harper’s THE DOOMSDAY VAULT. Editors appreciate one-liners because it helps them pitch their bosses. When an acquiring… Continue reading The one-line pitch

do and don't · how to get a request for pages · query problems

Queries: summarize the first 50 pages

When writing your query letter, summarize the first 50 pages of the book. This is enough to hook agents without giving too much away. (That’s what the synopsis is for.) A stellar query will help you after representation, too. After you sign, your agent pitches your book to acquiring editors. Many agents use the original… Continue reading Queries: summarize the first 50 pages

how to get a request for pages · other · query problems

What writing conferences do for you

Besides returning home with a sickness that knocks you flat for three days (ugh), conferences are awesome. Attending writing conferences gives you the chance to take workshops from diverse industry experts. You learn about plotting, description, characterization, pacing, and voice in-depth. You hear query letter how-to, promo techniques, and much more. You can have your… Continue reading What writing conferences do for you

do and don't · how to get a request for pages

Writing a synopsis, and how it differs from a pitch

Your pitch is 250 words about your book meant to whet the appetite of readers. It’s a less-gimmicky book blurb. (We often call it the query even though the query letter includes word count, genre, comps, and one-sentence bio.) A synopsis is a run-down of the entire plot, start to finish. Most agents ask for… Continue reading Writing a synopsis, and how it differs from a pitch