The query letter is effectively your written pitch to an editor or agent, enticing them to read or request your work. It is your first shot at gaining and, more importantly, HOLDING the editor’s/agent’s attention!
Keep it simple. I’d use the KISS anagram, but I hate the “stupid” on the end: “Keep it simple, stupid!”
So let’s change that, shall we?
Keep it simple and sharp.
Below I’ve included a sample query and we’ll break down all the elements. Then on June 21, join host Gina Edwards and me for a chat about query letters on CONVERSATIONS Around the Writer’s Table. On the call, I’ll answer any questions I may not answer here.
First Things First
Research to whom you are submitting. Review their requirements thoroughly. Font size? New Times Roman or other? Whole manuscript or first 30 pages? Do they accept queries only through Submittable or do you send your query to a specific email? What don’t they accept? Don’t ruin your chance by not following their written instructions.
What to Include
Feel free to insert some personal things about yourself within the query, but keep it minimal. You want them to grasp your story and your qualifications in less than two minutes. I use the term “qualifications” because there are NEW authors who aren’t quite ready for publishing yet and those who have been around the block enough to know about critiquing, beta readers, editing and so forth.
The editor/agent needs to perceive that your story is polished to the absolute best of your ability, that you are serious, but also what your story is about: GMC (goal, motivation, conflict). So while my example above excludes any personal bits about “me,” I can hope that the blurb (containing voice) will speak to the agent I’m submitting to.
Review the sample above again. Immediately, the editor/agent will see genre, word count, and whether you’re submitting to a call. Contact information is easily seen/found. They will notice that you know their name; you’ve researched their publishing house enough to know to whom you are submitting, which shows that you’ve done some homework before submitting.
Next, they see your blurb, your BIG shot at getting them to OPEN your attached documents. Lastly, they see your experience, awards, and online visibility, which is a must for authors these days.
Have questions after reading this? Join me on CONVERSATIONS Around the Writer’s Table, Wednesday, June 21, at 7 p.m. I’ll talk about queries with host Gina Edwards then we’ll open the lines for Q&A, so you can ask your questions then!
See you there!
Bobbi Romans is a rabid reader, avid photographer, and a writer of romance on the quirkier side, crossing into and across sub-genres. She also just released a cookbook, Bobbi Roman’s Recipes for Giant Sized Families on Fairy Sized Budgets. She grew up in DC and resides in the south where she feeds nine+ hungry eaters every night.
Join Bobbi Romans and Gina Hogan Edwards for the next CONVERSATIONS Around the Table on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, at 7 pm for a deeper discussion about the query letter. Register HERE to get the call-in details for this free Author Education Series, which you can participate in by phone from the comfort of your home.
You can find Bobbi at:
~ Blog: https://bobbiromans.wordpress.com/
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~ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6438996.Bobbi_Romans
~ Authorgraph: https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/BobbiRomans