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Your Query Letter

The first paragraph should be very close to what you would write for a jacket blurb. Unlike the Synopsis, do not give away the ending. In this blurb, you don’t want to talk about yourself, you want to sell your book.

Previously, we talked about building a Submission Packet and followed up on Wednesday with How to Write a Synopsis. As we continue to talk about the items we should collect for our Submission Packets, the next item on the list is our Query Letter. One Wednesday, January 22nd we will explore the components of a Cover letter.

Here is the List, again, for reference and hints about future topics related to collecting items to save in your Submission Files.

Things to include in a Submission Packet

  1. Write your Synopsis
  2. Write a Query Letter
  3. Write a Cover Letter
  4. Complete a Publishers Choice Form (Found in the Blog Post)
  5. Revise a Chapter
  6. Write an Author Bio in three sizes, long, medium and short form.
  7. Write some practice Press Releases
  8. Make a List of Potential Blog Hosts
  9. Start a List of Questions to help a Blogger do her homework and Keep the Answers Handy
  10. Save these items in an easy to find file (USB Drive, SD chip, cloud drive)

When you write a Query Letter you are addressing an agent or an editor. If you know their name, use it. Double check to be sure they are still there.

If you meet an agent at a convention or speak with a publisher who indicates an interest, it will not hurt to remind them of when and where you spoke.

The first paragraph should be very close to what you would write for a jacket blurb. Unlike the Synopsis, do not give away the ending. In this blurb, you don’t want to talk about yourself, you want to sell your book.

If you have any publishing credits or experience that qualifies you to write your book, mention it after the blurb. Do not lead with your advanced age or bring up the fact that you have no published work. Just leave that out.

Always thank the recipient for her time. They often catch up on queries during lunch breaks or during commutes or the alone time just after the children are put to bed. It is a big deal that she gave your query some of her spare time.

You should also let the editor or agent know that your book is complete. It is very rare for an editor to give new writers the nod for an incomplete book. You need to prove yourself up front. Maybe, after your second or third book with an editor, he will consider your unfinished work.

Your Query Letter should be short and to the point. You want to look professional, and you have spent some time learning about the far side of writing a novel.

One final note, if you have written a book about a gardener and you have experience with the genre, you may suggest selling it in garden shops and garden clubs. This may catch some attention because it shows you are thinking ahead. These days, a publisher may ask for a marketing plan at some point in the submission process.

On Wednesday, we will talk about a Cover Letter. We will look at what it does and how to write it.

Join us tomorrow at 7PM ET at the writerschatroom.com/wp

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