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  1. #1
    Chris Hagler
    Guest

    My new Query (hope this one works)

    After my last query letter failed miserably, I have reworked the entire thing. Maybe some of you guys can give me an idea of whether this sounds like something promising to a literary agent. I feel very confident that if I can just get someone to actually read the story I'll find an agent. (Be brutal if you must).

    Thanks,
    Chris
    Dear Agent,

    My name is Chris E. Hagler and I wish to submit my work to
    you for possible representation. I have recently completed an epic
    adventure story named "Lioneyes". The book is best described as a
    young adult adventure and combines mythological locations and ideas
    with the real world in order to create a exciting read. "Lioneyes"
    follows the story of Lisa Lyons, who is adopted from China as an
    infant by a loving couple from Mobile, Alabama. Raised in a loving
    home by doting parents, Lisa has a model childhood until she begins
    to receive mysterious messages from her homeland. The letters
    refer to unknown locations and duties and ask Lisa to return to
    China. Lisa then receives a strange gift from the unknown
    messenger, a mysterious glass eye. After Lisa reaches adulthood
    and experiences several supernatural events that involve the eye,
    she decides to travel to China in order to decipher her past.
    Taking her best friend Stacey with her, she embarks on a journey
    that leads her to places she never imagined. The two young women
    learn that Lisa is part of a long-concealed bloodline whose duty is
    to protect the known world from a sinister evil force long believed
    to be mythological. They face dangerous supernatural enemies,
    persecution by the Chinese authorities, and a long hard journey as
    they unlock Lisa's past and attempt to get her to her rightful
    place.

    I have published one previous work, "The Rose and the Redwood" with a
    P.O.D. publisher.. While the work wasn't a commercial success
    (probably due to the manner in which it was published), it did
    teach me a lot about the business and how to better promote myself
    and my work.
    While writing "Lioneyes", I researched many aspects of
    Chinese and Mongolian geography and culture. The locations (other
    than the mythological ones) are actual towns and facilities and can
    be found in the story where they are located in their respective
    nations. The names used are from Chinese and Mongolian culture and
    selected for their meaning. The mythology used to create the
    antagonist and his minions comes from Chinese folklore, changed
    slightly to give them a more sinister nature.
    I believe "Lioneyes" would appeal to a wide audience,
    especially young women. The story is very empowering to a young
    woman, due to the change in the main character. Lisa grows from an
    infant to a meek college student and is gradually changed by the
    events in the story so that she becomes the bold heroine that is
    required of her by the end of the book. The supporting characters
    develop in their own right, although not as dramatically as she. I
    believe the family-friendly nature in which the book is written
    will allow it to cross age boundaries and give it popularity among
    several age groups. The story is exciting and there are several
    events in the book that set it apart from a typical adventure tale.
    I hope to be able to share it with you and let you review the
    manuscript on your own. I urge you to help me to get this story
    off my computer and into the hands of the literary audience where I
    believe it belongs.

    I look forward to hearing from you and to the possibility of working with you.

    Thanks,

    Chris E. Hagler



  2. #2
    Greg Kosson
    Guest

    Re: My new Query (hope this one works)

    "Lioneyes follows the story of Lisa Lyons, who is adopted from China..."

    Start here. Cut out all the stuff about how you wrote the book and who it will appeal to and all that. Just get the reader interested in the story. Flatter the agent with the unspoken assumption that he or she knows exactly how to place this type of story.

  3. #3
    Sam English
    Guest

    Re: My new Query (hope this one works)

    DO NOT mention your POD'd work. That's not "published". That's "printed". BIG difference.

  4. #4
    jayce
    Guest

    Re: My new Query (hope this one works)

    You need a basic "how to" on queries. Start here: <http://www.agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx>.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Chris Hagler
    Guest

    Re: My new Query (hope this one works)

    Thanks for the input, and I'm not trying to directly dispute you guys, but it seems like I get both arguments about queries. I've received responses to the last one asking, "What kind of audience does your work target and who will it appeal to?" or "Have you ever been published before, at any level?"
    I realize the POD wasn't exactly a success, but it seemed that the things I learned about the business and self-promotion would be a plus to an agent. My last query letter didn't have those things in it, and it got rejected immediately so many times that I thought I would add those things to this one. To be honest, I realize most agents want an established writer who has already had their first best-seller, but I'd rather not wait until all those people die out in order to give my work a chance.
    If this doesn't work, I'll try a new query with those things attached. I'm starting to think that there's no way it's going to work if I don't have a connection to someone (which I don't).

    Thanks for the input guys, I really do appreciate it.

  6. #6
    l m
    Guest

    Re: My new Query (hope this one works)

    Chris, might you be over-complicating things? A compelling query can be difficult to compose, but the querying process isn't complicated.

    Check the above link, search for examples of successful query letters, and use them as a template. You're writing a business letter, a sales letter. You want your query to induce the agent to request sample chapters of your story. That's it.

    "I realize most agents want an established writer who has already had their first best-seller, but I'd rather not wait until all those people die out in order to give my work a chance."

    Are you thinking clearly about this?

  7. #7
    Cindy Kay
    Guest

    Re: My new Query (hope this one works)

    Chris,

    Many first-time novelists are published every year. Agents are actually looking for promising new talent.

    Write your query so that an agent thinks "promising new talent" when he or she reads it. Figure out what's most enticing about your manuscript and you, and then craft your query to highlight those things in the most alluring way you can.

  8. #8
    Sam English
    Guest

    Re: My new Query (hope this one works)

    "I realize the POD wasn't exactly a success, but it seemed that the things I learned about the business and self-promotion would be a plus to an agent."
    Telling an agent you learned about the publishing business from PODing your book is like telling someone you learned about being a doctor by watching House. As lm said, you are writing a business letter not to sell some "credentials" or experience, but to show the prospective agent that you've written something worth looking at. Period.

  9. #9
    Chris Hagler
    Guest

    Re: My new Query (hope this one works)

    Thanks for the input guys. It helps to have some different point of views about this. I'm going to sit and write a new query letter, using your feedback as I do.
    Wish me Luck.

    Thanks,

    Chris E. Hagler

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