Writing a q
But if you’re trying to get an agent or publisher to seriously look at your query, there are few things you need to think about.
- Personalize it: When I get queries addressed to Raven’s Quill Publishing, I ignore them. What that tells me is, this isn’t a person who read my submission guidelines. It tells me all I need to know about what our working relationship would look like. Which leads me to the next thing on this list.
- Follow submission guidelines: Publishers do not take the time to write out guidelines for shits and giggles. Or to torture you. They make life easier for the person trying to decide which books to take a deeper look at. And showing that you’re able and willing to follow directions can make a book look like a much better fit.
- Make sure the Publisher/Agent is a good fit for you: Getting through the entire process and then finding out this is not the place for you, sucks. And it can lead to bad decisions. Remember your book is worth something. This is a business decision and you have more power than you think. Do your research and find the people you not only are willing to work with but want to work with.
Now, The Query Itself
Your query letter should be clear, concise, and to the point.
Showcasing 80,000 words in a paragraph or two (no more than 300 words) is no easy feat. But you can do it. As a Story Grid Editor (in training), I regularly have to reduce books into three sentences. One for the Beginning Hook, one for the middle build, and one for the ending pay off.
I’m in the process of becoming a Story Grid Editor because I truly believe in the process. I’m not selling you anything. The entire book, as well as more in-depth research by existing editors, can all be found on StoryGrid.com. So when I say the Story Grid can and will help you with this, I mean it. Having a clear understanding of each part of your story makes reducing your novel into a paragraph easy but more importantly, it’s effective. I’ve read many a query where the author didn’t understand their own story. How can you effectively tell anyone about the book if you don’t understand it yourself? The Story Grid is work. It’s hard and
It’s a Numbers Game
Sending out queries can feel like shouting into the abyss. But the fact of the matter is, every “no” gets you that much closer to “yes”. So don’t give up. And if you need help schedule a free
- Writer’s Digest 10 Dos and Don’ts of Query Writing
- Jane Friedman- Write a Query Letter that Gets Manuscript Requests
- How to Write a Query Letter-Agent Query
- Successful Queries-Writer’s Deigest
About the Author
Marissa Frosch is a Certified Book Launch Coach and author of fiction under the name Cameron J Quinn.
She formed Raven’s Quill Publishing in March 2019 after leaving Amphibian Press where she worked for five years to make a go of it on her own.
Marissa is also working on her Story Grid Editor’s Certification to round out her author helping skill set.
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