The Dreaded Query Letter

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Query Letter

What is it?

You have probably read a good book recently, or seen a movie, and if someone asks you to tell them about it in one sentence, you can usually do that. You just gave someone was a pitch. Depending on how much they respect your opinion they will either read the book or see the movie. Your pitch or query needs to have the same power.

So why is it so hard for authors to pitch or sell their own work?

You have written a story be it 20,000 words, or 200,000 words and the people within that story are real to you. You know all about every aspect of their lives. This is all as it should be, but an agent getting hundreds of queries a week just needs something short and sweet.

A query letter

Why do you need one?

A query letter is often the first connection an agent or a publisher has with you. You may believe your book is the next bestseller but the truth is they do not know you. Your query letter or pitch has to grab them enough for them to ask for a synopsis and sample chapters.

Some basic rules

Know the agents name and address it to them. Make sure the agent deals with your type of work. Don’t send a fantasy to an agent who deals in mainstream fiction and specifically states they do not represent your genre. This shows you have done your homework.

Agents get at least fifty queries a day so be businesslike and get to the point.

Genre

By letting the agent know what genre you are writing it gives them an immediate idea of where you book will sit in the market. Look at who else the agent or publisher represents and see if your work is similar. If you think what you have written is original, then go for it, but make sure you did your research first.

Setting and Protagonist

You have written the book so these should be easy.

Is it based in this world, present time or the past? Is there a war going on or is it post-apocalyptic. Is your protagonist a female, human, alien or animal? What is their main problem? There is no story without conflict. Tell the agent a snippet about the protagonist’s problem.

Main conflict.

This can often be the most difficult thing for people to master. It is the premise of your book. It is a good idea to write the main conflict down before you write the book. If you can write that germ of an idea down and keep it somewhere safe you may save yourself some trouble. That is of course if you stuck to the original premise. Don’t be tempted to start telling the story here, save it for the synopsis.

Originality

The agents are getting so many queries that they need to see something different and original in yours to interest them.

How long?

One hundred words. Scary isn’t it?

Test yourself.

Write your book in 100, 75, 50, 25 words. Cut it out if it does not need to be there.

Unknown Protector is the first book in my Midworlder Trilogy.It is 85,000 in lenght.

Unknown Protector 23 words

Angels and Demons are not what you think. A fight for Earth is brewing and Nicole and Ridge are being drawn into it.

Unknown Protector in 100 words

Two things help Nicole since the murder of her husband. One is running her detective agency; the other is her guardian angel, Mira. When Mira is killed by a demon, Nicole accepts the help of a Ridge, a long-haired, diamond in the rough with wings. She must Ridge, which is tricky when she realizes there are no demons or angels, just parasitic aliens that humans have built the myths of these beings around. Ridge is an alien half-breed known as a Midworlder. He is also way too sexy for his own good or is it her own good.

Amazon Link.http://tinyurl.com/kvph4dc

UNKNOWN PROTECTOR_805x1275

Maggie Mundy lives in Adelaide, Australia and is a member of Romance Writers of Australia. She recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in Drama, English and Creative Writing at Flinders University. She has a supernatural thriller published with Soul Mate Publishing called Hidden Mortality and two paranormal romances called Unknown Protector and Scarred Protector.

She has also performed for many years in corporate entertainment for which she wrote her own sketches, which probably explains why her head is so full of characters. She loves writing romance but thinks falling in love can be scary.Maggie Mundy

http://www.maggiemundy.com

https://twitter.com/MundyMaggie

https://www.facebook.com/MaggieMundyAuthor

 

Maggie Mundy

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7 Responses to The Dreaded Query Letter

  1. The query and the synopsis are the hardest thing for every writer. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips.
    Best,
    Tema Merback
    Writing as Belle Ami

  2. bonniegill says:

    Great tips!

  3. bonniegill2 says:

    Commented & shared.

    Bonnie Gill http://www.bonniegill.com/ Bonnie Gill BlogSpot Facebook Bonnie Gill Author Twitter https://twitter.com/authorbonniegil

    >

  4. maggiermundy says:

    I still feel nervous every time I hit send. You always wonder if you could have done something differently.

  5. Ruby Rare says:

    Super helpful Maggie – such a difficult thing to master.

  6. maggiermundy says:

    Thanks to everyone for sharing and commenting. I wish everyone great success with their books.

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