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  1. #1
    Arden Wolfe
    Guest

    Query Letter Advice

    This is from http://theswivet.blogspot.com/search/label/queries a new agent-blogger

    I thought it is solid enough to bring here because it is from an agent's point of view AND is exactly what a lot of us have been saying ... yet we continue to see the same mistakes over and over.

    Read it, learn it, know it.

    ---

    The biggest problem that I see in query letters - and that I used to see when I was a publicist training new publicists how to write press releases and pitch letters - is that they are just too damned long and never get to the point. All the good stuff? Put it in the first paragraph. Period.

    And in a query letter, I want to know the entire plot of your book by the time I finish reading that paragragh. Because if I don't, I probably won't finish reading the letter.

    Remember that, essentially, a query letter is a pitch. You need to be able to get your entire plot across in about two to three sentences. You need a hook at the beginning, something that makes me want to finish reading the rest of the letter.

    If you can't organize your thoughts about your book concisely enough to write a clear pitch letter, it's probably indicative of your writing style as a whole. That's a red flag to agents.

    A well-respected agent I know who has been in the business for more than twenty years recently said to me "Colleen, remember this: the writer never gets any better than the writing you see in the pitch letter."

    ---



  2. #2
    Richard W.
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter Advice

    Amen. I've been an editor-in-chief of daily newspapers for several years. We get hundreds of press releases, phone calls, etc. a week.
    The same holds true throughout the publishing industry - just spit it out. We open a lot of mail every day, and a press release has to get our attention in 10 seconds, or it goes into the circular file.
    If it's newsworthy, and good, we'll be happy to print it. We RARELY take telephone calls, though, unless it's about a major event.
    -30-

  3. #3
    Eva
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter Advice

    Actually, it was Kameron Hurley and she's not an agent. The advice however, is sound.

    Query



    "If it's newsworthy, and good," or if it involves anything to do with anyone famous. . . .

  4. #4
    Kasey Mackenzie
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter Advice

    Actually, it WAS Colleen's advice. =) She was linking to advice from Kameron Hurley, but the paragraphs Arden posted came directly from Colleen's blog and were her words. Thus where she says, "A well-respected agent I know who has been in the business for more than twenty years recently said to me 'Colleen, remember this: the writer never gets any better than the writing you see in the pitch letter.' "

  5. #5
    Eva
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter Advice

    Good catch Kasey. It's confusing, or maybe it's just me. Of course, any good advice is always good to hear. On the other hand, reading the title is "sounds" like Hurley gave the advice; "Kameron Hurley has some good advice on query letters. " which she doesn't. She actually refers to Lynn Flewelling from The Complete Nobody's Guide to Query Letters. In truth, ol' Colleen should have linked to Lynn. But that's the way it goes. ;-)

    And it was certainly nice of Arden to share.

  6. #6
    Lawrence verrett
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter Advice

    Can an agent here tell me where I can find a good outline for a query letter. I want to make it right the first time. Also any one here willing to let me send them one after I write so they can tell if it is good or bad? I wrote the book now comes the hard part. thanks
    Lawrence

  7. #7
    jayce
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter Advice

    Lawrence:

    Legitimate agents don't cruise the internet looking for clients; only scammers do that. A couple of legit agents do frequent W/N, but only to participate in the forums, not to scrounge for business.

    As for tips on query writing, search through the threads on this forum; you'll find lots of attempts and critiques. A good site for query help and agents too is <http://www.agentquery.com>

    I suggest you study the query form, hammer one out, and when you've discarded and rewritten it a dozen or more times, post it here for comments. You'll get plenty of advice (the trick being to recognize the good advice from the bad).

    Also consider posting the opening page of your novel in the Writing Crafts forum.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
    Joshie !
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter Advice

    I want to make it right the first time

    I would die to see this.


    Just sayin...

    The Grammatically Challenged,
    Joshie!

  9. #9
    Steven Labri
    Guest

    Re: Query Letter Advice

    Lawrence,

    Here is a good place to start.

    The Complete Nobody's Guide to Query Letters

    Google it.

    Also; "I want to make it right the first time"

    You won't so don't worry yourself. ;-)

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