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Thread: The Brass Tax

  1. #1
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    The Brass Tax

    Dear Agents, readers, ect.

    Okay I have been posting my query letters on this website for a while now and I've noticed a lot of others have as well. I've also noticed that many times most replies are in the negative (not a bad thing, authors always need people who will help put their creativity in check), the thing is though this has raised more questions then answers. Over the time I've been on I've recieced a lot of advice to visit different sites, and while they've been helpful, each site has different things to say about the structure of a QL. The only basic rule I'm getting is that it should be three paragraphs; Hook, mini-synopsis, and bio/closure, no more, no less. However the questions I have are as follows:

    a.) Is there a minimum word count to the QL?

    b.) Does the Hook have to be something like, "I'm Querying you because you might be interested in my MS, due to the information I gathered from your website." or can it just be about the novel?

    c.) If the wirter has no credentials (and I mean absolutely none) does that mean the agent will automatically reject the QL?



  2. #2
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    Re: The Brass Tax

    Aysha,

    My answers to your questions:

    a) Yes, there is a general consensus that the query letter should be no more than one page. I believe Nathan Bransford (a former agent) said the sweet spot falls between 250-300 words.

    b) The hook is generally one or two sentences that establish character and potential conflict. The examples you have are considered introductory sentences. Some people don't use them at all. Unless you have a personal connection with the agent (meeting her at a conference, for example), the introductory sentence may not even be necessary.

    c) A writer's credentials are secondary to the marketability of the work. You are more likely to be rejected because your writing sample is poor, your book is a cliche, or your pitch is unprofessional. There are many writers whose very first publishing credential was their first novel. If you have no credentials, don't mention it. Just leave that paragraph off. If you have a great book, the agent won't care.

    Jeanne

  3. #3
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    Re: The Brass Tax

    The hook is intended to grab the agent's interest and keep them reading. Telling them that you'd like them to represent your novel won't do it. Telling them that a detective has to deal with werewolves and vampires might. See the difference?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Keith .'s Avatar
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    Re: The Brass Tax

    I agree with Jeanne and Joe.
    ________________________________________________

    People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.
    - Bob Dylan

  5. #5
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    Re: The Brass Tax

    And just to add that annoying criticism for which we are so well known, the phrase is "brass tacks."

  6. #6
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    Re: The Brass Tax

    She may have been making a joke.

  7. #7
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    Re: The Brass Tax

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments, they are helpful and wonderfully insightful (I can now go back and lengthen my query a bit, yeah!) I was indeed trying to make a joke but if it was missed feel free to criticize, since that is indeed what you do best . I do have another question though, has there ever been a query you guys would say would have worked for you?

  8. #8
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    Re: The Brass Tax

    Yes. I've seen a few Q letters on WN over the years that were good enough to either tweak slightly and send or just send without changes. And I generally get booed resoundingly when I say so.

  9. #9
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    Re: The Brass Tax

    Lol I guess everyone has their different opinions, which is wonderful, it just makes the hunt more fun.

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