Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
Looking for someone to help with my query letter, this is fun, and a little scary. Ready to get my very first children’s book out-plus needs to be edited AGAIN, this I find is never-ending, but exciting. So, with this I say hi and thank you.
Hi Cindy, welcome. :) Just to be clear- do you want to hire someone to do that like an editor or just find volunteer members willing to look at it? Best to be clear on that.
AgentQuery has an excellent set of guidelines on how to write a query letter. See if yours follows that. It also has links about halfway down the page to examples of query letters that worked.
Hi Scribbler, and thank you
I would like both, ( hire, or a volunteer). My manuscript is about 900 pgs, Agents/Publishers like it in the range of 750. Worked on the Query for some time- needs some tightening up, before I send it out. Looked into the website, great page
Thank you and Sincerely,
Hi Cindy, Research! research! research! I am in the same boat. If you are trying to find an agent and or a publisher, they will edit your book at no cost. If they ask for a fee, ran away fast. Now if you are self publishing, that is another animal. The ones I have talked to will also edit the book with a fee. Usually that is part of the package. But if you choose not to self publish, when looking for an agent make certain they are a member of the AAR. I recommend a book called: Making the Perfect Pitch. Go to the library and check it out. The copyright was 2006, I believe. The information inside is great. Another thing, make sure your query letter is only one page long. Your synopsis can be three to five pages and some agents may ask for more. But follow their guideline and send them what they ask for or your book might end up in the slush pile. Another thing, I haven't heard about agents liking page length. What I have learned is word count. I don't know what word count is for children's book but 750 pages seems high. Mystery is 70,000 to 90,000 words. Thillers can go as high as 100,000. You can type (Agent) in you search engine and learn a lot there...Hope this helps...
This is a summary my wonderful wife, Liz found to explain it all to me, (I think its from Writers and Artists website...)
Query Letter Writing
A query letter is a single page cover letter, introducing you and your book. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s not a resume. It’s not rambling saga of your life as an aspiring writer. It’s not a friendly, “Hey, what’s up, buddy. I’m the next John Grisham. Got the next best selling thriller for ya,” kind of letter. And for the love of god, it is NOT more than one-page. Trust us on this.
A query letter has three concise paragraphs: the hook, the mini-synopsis, and your writer’s biography. Don’t stray from this format. You won’t catch an agent’s attention by inventing a creative new query format. You’ll just alienate your chances of being taken seriously as a professional writer. A query letter is meant to elicit an invitation to send sample chapters or even the whole manuscript to the agent. It’s not meant to show off how cute and snazzy you can be by breaking formatting rules and going against the grain. Keep it simple. Stick to three paragraphs. The goal is to get the agent to read your book, not to blow you off because you screwed up the introduction.
Paragraph One—The Hook: A hook is a concise, one-sentence tagline for your book. It’s meant to hook your reader’s interest, and wind them in
Paragraph Two—Mini-synopsis: This is where you get to distil your entire 300 page novel into one paragraph
Paragraph Three—Writer’s bio: This should be the easiest part of your query. After all, it’s about you, the writer.
Your Closing: Congratulations! You’ve finished your query letter. As a formal closing, be sure to do two things. First, thank the agent for her time and consideration. Second, if it’s nonfiction, tell them that you’ve included an outline, table of contents, and sample chapters for their review. If it’s fiction, alert the agent that the full manuscript is available upon request. And in case you still don’t believe us, we want to reiterate: don’t query agents until you’ve finished your full fiction manuscript. Agents will want to read the whole novel before they offer representation to you and your book.
Good Luck and Bonne Chance!