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Thread: Query Letter

  1. #1
    Jean Bonifacio
    Guest

    Query Letter

    Okay, I know but I have been rejected and after telling myself not to let it get me down....It's gotten me down. I revamped it...less is more. Please tell me what you think if you find the time. This is the letter without the "Dear..." and the "Best regards..."

    ďMan, if Iíd only picked door number 2!Ē Am I the only woman in the world that thinks this question is okay? It is so taboo for a woman to look at her life and ask that question? Maybe, but nowadays, why not take that guilty pleasure and imagine what couldíve been behind door number 2?

    My name is Jean Bonifacio and I am an obsessed housewife and mother of two. I wish I could tell you of all my published works and the many manuscripts I have saved on my computer, but I canít. Let me clarify, I am obsessed in the sense that I have finished a manuscript and started countless others but I just canít finish them until I put the first to bed. Hey, Iím a mother that wonít start a movie until the kids are tucked away in bed because she doesnít believe in the pause button.

    Circles of Regret is that guilty pleasure of an unhappily married woman that goes home and opens door number 2. Did I mention that she was unhappily married because I donít want you to stop reading this thinking, ďAdultery? Harlot!Ē Itís truly a story about friendship and honesty when Karen comes home to take care of her friend Sam, a girlfriend, only to find out that she needs taken care of herself. Throughout the story Karen is constantly reminded of choices sheís made and doors that she slammed shut. What happens when all those choices start opening those doors for her again? The friendship between Karen and Sam is decades old and is appreciated throughout the pages. I do admit that you canít help but hate Karen sometimes only to love her too. I know that this is not a romance genre because, yes, she is still technically married. No adultery in romance! And, no man with 5% testosterone will even touch this story to get past the first sentence! Dare I say that itís a chick book?

    I would love to send you a book proposal or the completed manuscript. The manuscript is approximately 85,000 words. I love to read and I love to write. I absolutely love reading series books because while I wait for the next book to come out, I imagine and outline how I would write it. Obsessed, I told you! I love to read about history and dive into trying to humanize the facts into a little fiction. Thank you so much for taking the time to consider my manuscript. I look forward to hearing from you soon.



  2. #2
    d. Leroy
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter

    Jean,
    I'll give you my thoughts, but please have your thick-skin on, you're going to get a lot of advice from other folks. Remember, it's advice and opinions.

    In my opinion, this thing is a mess.

    You start off with a string of questions that have no relevance. Queries opening with a question always irritate me, but this one is ove the top - I'd take all that out.

    I kind of like the first sentence of your next paragraph, but the rest of the paragraph just sounds like your bitching about writing. I'd remove it too.

    Your next paragraph is just sort of weird and again with more questions. I think you need to re-engineer this query. Right now it sounds like you're trying to be cute, but it comes off as annoying and poorly-written. Remember, this is supposed to be a professional business letter.

    d.

  3. #3
    Dave S
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter

    Jean:

    I advise that you go to agentquery.com and read up on how to write a query. Don't waste any more time and money contacting agents until have a clear understanding of what a query should and should not include, what the proper format for it should be, etc.

    I'll give you a few brief pointers -

    Your query should start with a hook sentence - one that hopefully makes the agent want to continue reading.

    The next paragraph should describe your book in three sentences. To do this you'll have to convey the heart and soul of your book in a condensed yet effective manner. Not easy, but with some practice and guidance, you can do it.

    Writing an effective query is a pretty frustrating experience for most. But it's a great learning experience. Once you have a new version, post it under the Literary Agents section on this site, and you'll get feedback.

    Best of luck.

  4. #4
    Jean Bonifacio
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter

    Thick skin is on...I promise. So less bitching and whining? Okay, I have a problem though, more business letterish always makes it sound form letterish. Like I'm mass producing. I thought if I made it more human and personal it would be more "catchy." I can't find a catch sentence! Do you agree that the less is more thing though in describing the manuscript...just take out the annoying questions? Thick skin on...check!

  5. #5
    Stacy Copping
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter

    With the exception of the first sentence I would cut out the second paragraph.
    Your story is personal and reveals quite a bit. I wouldn't expect a more business format to extinguish your passion.
    Try reading through the agents' sites. Most agree that, for some reason, beginning the query with a question is irritating. I was tempted to do this myself until I read their blogs. On the other hand, what housewife hasn't asked herself that question????

    "And, no man with 5% testosterone will even touch this story to get past the first sentence"

    Don't sell yourself short. Let the agent be the judge of your audience.
    Maybe hubands wonder about their wives deepest, darkest secrets. On the other hand, my husband doesn't read. I will never have to worry about that.

    Stacy

  6. #6
    Jean Bonifacio
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter

    My husband doesn't read either!!!! Unfortunately, he's caught on to the "What the hell was I thinking picking your door?" I've had problems clarifying what genre my book is. I've been stuck on literary fiction....but how broad is that???? And I hate the genre chick lit cause it's really just a genre about bitching and whining sometimes....reading first response....my speciality!

  7. #7
    Stacy Copping
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter

    Let me guess. He looked really good when you met him.
    I will never forget the day I met my husband. I saw him crossing the street wearing loose fitting jeans with strategically placed holes and had to take him for a test drive.

  8. #8
    d. Leroy
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter

    Hi Jean,
    It's good to see you're not taking things personally. That's the right attitude to have.

    Dave S. gave a great suggestion in visiting agentquery.com, I use that site a lot.

    There's really no 'template' for the perfect query letter, but there are general rules to follow. In my opinion, the most important rule is a professional presentation.

    Do some research and get the basic layout of a query letter and then follow it.

    Good luck,
    d.

  9. #9
    Jean Bonifacio
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter

    Not quite...high school sweethearts...loved the way he looked in his Oakley's.

  10. #10
    Jena Grace
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter

    Jean, good advice above--and leave out ALL the personal stuff unless you have previous writing credentials you'd like to mention.

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