Thursday, January 12, 2012

January Query Time--Importance of the Query Letter

It's a new year. Let's start with the basics.

Okay, not the basics. The basics are sentence construction. I might be inclined to rant about the misuse of semi-colons every now and then, but otherwise I leave that to your first grade teacher.

We all know how important a query is. Most of us know what it is. Some of us know what it is not.

This month will be broken down into sections. Next week: what it is and what it is not.

Today: the importance

  • It gets your foot in the door. Agent reads. Agent likes. Agent requests pages. Another post for another day.
  • Demonstrates your knowledge and use of proper sentence and paragraph construction.
  • Demonstrates your ability to structure ideas in a concise form.
  • Demonstrates your ability to follow direction.
  • Shows that the ms has unique characters and complete plot.
  • Proves you know how to sum up your book and describe it in the most market-friendly way.
  • Unless you're just really naturally good at it, a good query will show the agent that you've spent time and effort on the process. You're someone we want to work with.
And all that without you having to TELL us any of that. Amazing what a little SHOW can do, right?

Happy writing!


Peter G. James Sinclair said...

Thanks for the wonderful advice about semi-colons - never really knew where they belonged anyway. Just joking!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice.

Huntress said...

When a writer mentioned the words 'query letter' to another agent, she was handed her head.

*sigh* What a business this is.

Unsociable Rabbit said...

I'm always afraid that rejections are from a bad query letter rather than bad ideas or MS...

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