Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Query Query Query

I finished my book in the spring of last year, then began editing, fixing, and tinkering with the manuscript, finally I felt it was ready to share with the world.  So I began to figure out my next step - The Query-

Okay, this shouldn't be that hard right, WRONG, it was painful.  I would sit at my desk and read site after site on how to do it, then read query after query.  This query stuff is a hard.

So I began with reading and learning as much as I could about Query's. The right and the wrong way to go about them.  I came up with my first letter and man I thought it was just simply perfect, then I put it up for peer review.  Shredded to pieces, I think my greeting and closing were all that remained after they got done with it.  They were right, of course, it did stink.

So back to the drawing board.  Again, I labored long, laborious hours to achieve the penical of perfection. I read it my family read it, my kids' friends read it.  Until at last I had a stack of discarded query's, but out of that stack came a really nice letter.

So my advice for query writing:

  • Read and learn everything you can about query letters.
  • Out line your novel, some do it before they even begin their book, but I just don't work that way, so mine was after. 
  • Write, re-write often.
  • Let the letter sit for a day, don't think about it or read it, just leave it alone. Then read it with fresh eyes. You will be surprised how stupid it sounds or how great it sounds after a day.
  • Peer review, but you must have thick skin and be willing to learn and also willing to discard the bad advice. It's a tightrope act.
  • My best advice- I had a friend who recently graduated from college with a degree in writing read my query.  She had my interest in mind (unlike some of the peer review websites) and really helped me fix the flaws. Kudos to her!!
Now, I don't think I will ever be done.  I am constantly refining the letter, tailoring it to fit the agent I am sending to.  

So do you have any hints, tricks or secrets to query writing?  If  you do let's hear it!