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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Writer's Tip Thursday!!

Don’t waste your time sending a query letter to an agent unless you have a book ready to be published. Get it professionally reviewed. Have people read your book that aren’t related to you in some way. ~~Stacey O'Neale.~~

Query letters are the demons that haunt all writers. There seems to be a different answer for each person to the question, What is a query letter. In short, a query letter introduces you, the writer, and your novel in a single page.

h first paragraph should have who you are, the name of the book; approximate word count and that's it. Don't say things like, I'm looking for representation, they already know that. Also, don't put an exact word count, you can be viewed as difficult to work with. Last but not least, do the research on who you are sending it to. Make sure you spell the agent's name right. If you don't spell that right and they don't represent that genre, you are not going to get a response.

The second paragraph needs to have a short synopsis about your book. What is the hook of your book? The theme of it is what makes the hook. For example, Angel. Devil. Monster. Hero. We are all the same in our fates, we become what we really are.

The first sentence of the second paragraph must peak the interest of the reader. If it doesn't, you can be sure a rejection will happen. In this second paragraph, you want to share as much about the story without giving the whole thing away. You want them to ask for a full synopsis. If you sent the full synopsis, then you want them to want to read the whole thing.

The last paragraph should talk about any publications you have. If you don't have any, don't write anything here. Simply say thank you for your time.

If you have done the research, then you already know what needs to be included in the query you send. Do you need to send the first three chapters? Do you know what the agent is looking for? Do you know how long they want the synopsis to be? There are a number of things you have to make sure you have before you send it out.

The last thing is Stacey said, make sure your manuscript is finished, polished and ready to go. Dont' waste their time or yours by sending in something that isn't finished. If you send in the first 3 chapters with it and they say they want the whole thing a few weeks later, you're out of luck and burned that bridge.

I know this blog post is late. Let me explain. Last week I listened to my interview with Stacey O'Neale again and it set me on this path. I had to come up with an entire outline and see how I could make it work. There is are a lot of changes coming down the pipeline. The show is about to go to 5 days a week. I have put together a media kit for it all. I'm also working on a news letter. I'm so excited about all of it!!

Thank you all for being with me on this ride. I plan on getting more tips about query letters from those in the business who read them on a daily basis. Stay tuned for more. :)



Christina Fifield-Winn said...

So helpful! Thank you!

Abigail-Madison Chase said...

Really good information

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