Hello once again Readers! So since I can’t seem to focus on editing my second novel, I figured, why not post a blog?
I know, totally unproductive, but hey, there’s a bonus in it for you. Free advice on querying! I felt that I should’ve added this on to my last blog about being rejected. I mean, to really turn that frown upside down, how about we write an awesome un-rejectable query!
And yes, that is me, staring at my word document and not typing one, single, thing. For shame…
Before we get to the good stuff, my review for The Shadow of Black Wings is now up on Goodreads and Amazon. Check it out if you’re shopping around for a new and great read!
Back to the good stuff.
So, I guess the best way to do this, is to start off with a few personal tips of my own, and then move into the links that will save you from despair. *Happy dance* Note-I am not a professional when it comes to querying. This is just my opinion and things that I have learned along the way.
Let’s begin, shall we?
- First things first-be sure to do your research. Read up on the publisher or agent you are querying. Do they take your genre? What types of books do they represent? Are you like any of those other authors? It’s important to know this so you can include this in your opening paragraph. If it’s an agent, do they have a blog? Mention it. Read it. Flattery gets you far.
- Make sure your opening not only flatters them, but includes the word count and the genre. Remember that this opening paragraph is your only shot. If you don’t catch them from the beginning, they may not even finish the query. You should have one catchy sentence that pulls them in pertaining to your story.
- Moving into the body of the query-every sentence has to be golden. Keep it short and to the point. Don’t go crazy with details, just the surface problems. Remember that you are not the only one they are reading, and they are probably in a hurry, so you have to keep them intrigued.
- There should be one paragraph for the set up (introducing the characters), and one paragraph for the conflict (the characters main purpose throughout the story). Don’t worry about explaining and sub-plots. And refer to #3 about keeping those two short and golden.
- Last but not least, the last paragraph should talk about your credentials. If you blog, let them know, as well as your experience in your genre and with writing. If you have none (like I did) don’t make anything up. Honesty is the best policy. Tell them what you are looking for, but don’t drag it out.
- A bonus tip-don’t forget to add your name, address, phone number, email, and blog links to the bottom. Give them a chance to contact you and/or research you. If you have a blog, they may want to get a feel for your tone of writing. Some may even check out your page (so I’ve heard).
And those are my tips. Will they work for you? Dunno. But there are tons of self-help books out there that offer even more in-depth advice with great examples. These are good if you are serious about querying. There are also helpful books with different agencies and publishers. You just have to make sure they are open to submissions.
But who wants to pay for advice when you can find more for free?! Here are a few sites I have found that offer great advice on writing a catching query letter. Hope this helps!
Those are just a few. You can type into Google and find many other examples to help you if you are unsure or needing more. Believe in yourself and your writing. That is the most important thing to remember. Once you get a rough draft written out, go back and perfect it. Read it to others. Compare it to winning queries.
Now to leave you with a question: What is the scariest part of querying (other than the fear of rejection) and how are you overcoming it?
My fear was not doing my story justice. I suck at marketing myself and sometimes let my self-doubt outweigh my talent. So it was a struggle to get the final draft of a query letter that I felt was even remotely good enough to grace a publisher’s eyes.
As always Little Flames, Echelon out ♥