The Query
The Query Letter... Kill me, okay? Yeah, just like that. Thanks.

They're hard, hard, hard.

And they kind of, sort of... Well, plain and simple, they really friggen suck to write.

Google, people are quick to shout. Google it, Google opinions, recommendations, and formulas.

God, kill me some more right there.

Google is great, it honest to goodness is...when you wade through all the nonsense to find some of the gold. Between the opinions of authors as to how they've written theirs, especially the ones who have received an agent or publishing contract for the "awesomeness" of their query letters, the blogs who recommend you use a very strict formula to which you ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT (according to them) deviate from, and the publishing companies (or agent companies) that give you a muddied up list of what they expect... Yeah, you know what? Mess sums that up pretty good.

Sure, there are obvious right and wrong ways. For example, if you start it out with, "Hey, 'sup? This is my book/novel/manuscript, check it out!" that's probably not going to get you further than the junk pile/delete box, okay?

I agree that the first few lines, whether you decide to go with the "hook" (the one liner that is meant to capture the feel/intent/desire of your book) or a simple introduction are your best first impression.

Like a ride or die, you're either gonna fly or fall with your intro. You just will. It's the first thing they see right next to your name and address. It seems to me that with everything I read, searched, looked into, whatever, they all could agree on that.

It shows immediately whether you have any understanding of the basic grammar, punctuation, and spelling. If you're going with the Hook as an intro to your query, and depending on how good it sounds and looks, well it can show your ability to be creative and summarize with just a single sentence.

And by the way, those sentences can be pretty long...I've seen it, and it's crazy, but still apparently acceptable, so no complaints when I used a good three typed lines for my Hook.

In a round about way, I don't have a lot of advice to give. In fact, I haven't even sent mine out, yet. But, I am here to say it isn't easy, and I don't pity those who have to write it, but I sympathize...and maybe I'll hold your hand or something...maybe. Find someone to listen to you rant when you write it, stick to three or four concise paragraphs, have a dozen people read and reread it over, and try not to be too hard on yourself.

It's not easy.

It's not fun.

It's also not meant to be.

It is a learning process, it is a part of publishing, and in the end, it kind of, sort of...sucks.

The best site I found that helped me a great deal, and gave me lots of queries that received good feedback and contracts, was: http://www.agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx

Good luck.

Always,

Bethany-Kris
0 Responses

Post a Comment