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Author: Subject: my query letter
melinda
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[*] posted on 2/23/2012 at 02:07 PM
my query letter


Is this ready?

2/23/2012

Melinda MacKnight
P.O. Box 1347
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Phone number

edit out
155 E. 116th St. 2F
New York, NY 10029

Dear edit:

I would like to submit my paranormal fantasy novel for consideration to the edit agency. HUNGER MOON has not been previously published. This book could be the first in a series, it can also work as a stand alone novel.

I have a bachelor's degree in Business from Arizona State University, and eight years of experience as a documentation specialist and technical writer. I am a published author.

Published work:
January 20, 2012 A CAT'S TALE Digital ISBN: 978-1-61217-215-6 The Wild Rose Press

Regards,
Melinda MacKnight


[Edited on 2/24/2012 by melinda]





Melissa Snark
P.O. Box 1347, Pleasanton, CA 94566
email: melissasnark@gmail.com
twitter: @MelissaSnark

My website: Melissa Snark author site

My blog: The Snarkology


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Nancy G.
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[*] posted on 2/23/2012 at 03:37 PM


You need word count and that it is completed.



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melinda
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[*] posted on 2/23/2012 at 04:01 PM


Nancy, decided to add a topic blurb to tell the agent what the story is about also.

2/23/2012

Melinda MacKnight
P.O. Box 1347
Pleasanton, CA 94566
phone number

edit
155 E. 116th St. 2F
New York, NY 10029

Dear edit:

I would like to submit my supernatural fantasy novel for consideration to the edit agency. HUNGER MOON tells the story of a young woman's journey to become a worthy leader of her werewolf pack while protecting them from hunters , resolving a unsolved murder, and battling an ancient foe in service to a Norse God.

HUNGER MOON has not been previously published, and the manuscript is complete at 102,000 words. This book could be the first in a series, but it can also work as a stand alone novel.

I have a bachelor's degree in Business from Arizona State University, and eight years of experience as a documentation specialist and technical writer. I am a published author.

Published work:
January 20, 2012 A CAT'S TALE Digital ISBN: 978-1-61217-215-6 The Wild Rose Press

Regards,
Melinda MacKnight


[Edited on 2/24/2012 by melinda]





Melissa Snark
P.O. Box 1347, Pleasanton, CA 94566
email: melissasnark@gmail.com
twitter: @MelissaSnark

My website: Melissa Snark author site

My blog: The Snarkology


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Michy
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[*] posted on 2/23/2012 at 06:13 PM


The first isn't a query. The last one is much better, but still not compelling enough.

Why are you telling them what agency you're submitting to? They already know who they work for - so there's no reason to tell them that in the first line. It just wastes words. Tell them WHY you've selected their agency - such as, the book you wrote is similar in style to XXX book that they represented.

You need your plot here, a hook, the plot, a summary of the work, then your bio. How are they going to know if they want to read your book if you don't tell them what it's about and then make them excited to read it?

First paragraph: Hook and why you're querying THAT agent.

Second and third paragraph: what is you book about? Entice but don't give away your ending.

Fourth paragraph: Genre, word count, compare to other books in the market, or define the market for your book.

Fifth paragraph: short bio, published credits, and thank the agent/editor.

http://www.agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx

Read that. You really need to make the book sound more interesting - what's the plot pivot point? What's the struggle? Why would someone want to read this book over something else?

I'll also tell you that 102k is likely too long. You need to cut it back under 100k, preferably around 98k. There are multiple reasons for this. Many agents/editors believe that anything over 100k is too long, especially from a new author's perspective. They believe the author doesn't know how to properly edit and pare down the copy. Secondly, anything over 100k is usually too expensive to print. Now, I'm not saying you HAVE to cut it down, but I'm betting there are places you can cut it down, and I know a book under 100k has a better chance of being picked up than one over it.





[Edited on 2-24-2012 by Michy]




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[*] posted on 2/23/2012 at 06:14 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Nancy G.  
You need word count and that it is completed.


Almost all the agents I've read on their blogs and on Twitter say not to say that it's completed, because if you are doing what you're supposed to do, you won't query unless it's completed, so there's no reason to tell them something that by the very nature of the query they and you ought to already know. Additionally, giving a word count, especially one in the 100k range, is pretty much confirmation that the book is completed. You would not give a word count of a novel that is a work in progress when querying.






[Edited on 2-24-2012 by Michy]




Love and stuff,
Michy
~~Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations~~


Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." James R. Cook

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melinda
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[*] posted on 2/23/2012 at 07:37 PM


Thanks for the pointers! I'll work up a new draft.




Melissa Snark
P.O. Box 1347, Pleasanton, CA 94566
email: melissasnark@gmail.com
twitter: @MelissaSnark

My website: Melissa Snark author site

My blog: The Snarkology


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itzrissa2u
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[*] posted on 2/23/2012 at 11:22 PM


Yup, what Michy said. Also, when describing the plot you need character names- not all of them but main character at least. The agent has to want to read about his person.


Also, I would go in and edit the post to delete the agents name and the agency name immediately.

She may have an alert set up for her name and you don't want her to read this on here. Unless you post under the password protected parts of the forum- like the critique section it is all searchable with search engines.

[Edited on 2-24-2012 by itzrissa2u]




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