The previous post went over 6 queries and how and why I rejected or requested them. There 2 things to learn here. No book is rejected for one thing alone. It’s true that some problems interlock, of course. Long word count and boring pages are a result of the same issue. But I saw proof… Continue reading Today’s query batch: TLDR
I read a small batch of 6 queries. Here are my reactions to each and why I chose to reject, wait, or request. Note: I must be vague about some things. However, if you identified a small problem in your book and wondered, “is this bad, or am I okay?” this post will give an… Continue reading Today’s query batch: how I replied and why
In writing you always have two ways to evoke emotion: content and how you communicate content. In novels and queries, the former means creating a gripping plot. The latter is what we call voice: how you say what you’re saying. Some people have an easy talent for writing voice. I am not one of them.… Continue reading Creating voice in the query
There are few rules for your comps (comparison novels/authors). The publication must be recent, reflecting the modern market. The author should not be too big of a name and the book should not be a #1 bestseller even your best friend’s husband has read. That last a bit flexible. You can comp Neil Gaiman if… Continue reading The authors everyone comps
Some agents want queries to say why you’re the best person to write this book. I didn’t include this in my query guide because our agency doesn’t care. I assume you wrote this book because it was in your heart and brain and soul. I assume you researched, edited, checked, and composed the best book… Continue reading Why should YOU write this book?
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
A query today announced that the author understood we request a certain number of pages pasted into the email. However, they were attaching the whole thing for us. This isn’t just an auto-reject. I deleted the email. Saying they read the guidelines and then disregarding them shows disrespect for the literary agent. The consequences of… Continue reading Violating guidelines on purpose
Check it out: a flowchart to check your query before submitting to agents. I got to help with its creation (thanks, David!) and I love how comprehensive this is. Now instead of thumbing through the archives here for a final check, you can bring up this handy image. Reposted with permission from DavidRSlayton.com. Retweet… Continue reading Is My Query Letter Ready For Submission?
This literary thriller takes the reader on a journey of greed, sex, betrayal, and lust. What does that pitch mean to you? Greed — many thrillers run on greed. In what way is it greedy? Sex — is this here to titillate me or warn me? This is as descriptive as, “This YA book contains… Continue reading Seven Deadly Non-Specific Sins
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