Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A writes: the query letter

A while ago on my personal blog, I did a post on writing query letters and I thought I would also share it here. I'm in no way an expert on query letters; I have, in fact, written one. But what I also did is a lot of research, so I'm hoping to save you a bit of time by sharing the four main websites that I found particularly invaluable. I'm also planning on posting our query letter in the next week or so to show how we wrote ours. 

Anyway, to start off my research, I spent a good deal of time in the archives of Query Shark, and Miss Snark (who also helped write the synopsis!). These two websites have some great ‘what not to do’ feedback as well as what works in a query letter. But the reason I love these two websites is because once I learned what not to do I was able to figure out what I wanted my query to look like. Writing the first draft of the query was relatively easy after reading through many, many pages of awful queries. 

In addition, JM Tohline has some great tips from agents about what they look for in a query letter on his website. And last but not least, the agent query website also talks about formatting etc your query once you’ve written it.
If any of you have any websites about query letters that you've found helpful, let me know in the comments! As I mentioned earlier, I am by no means an expert on this and I'm always looking out for more hints or tips.
Speaking of, the best tip I can give you is to read the requirements carefully; some publishers we’ve looked into requested marketing info such as target readership etc. In the end, however, no matter how much research you do you just have to sit down and write the thing. And then spend an awful lot of time editing, proofreading and making sure that there are no errors. Because at the end of the day, the query is your first meeting with a potential agent or publisher and you'd better make sure the impression is a good one.

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