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Author: Subject: a few questions about query writing
Ken
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[*] posted on 5/19/2014 at 07:17 AM
a few questions about query writing


Years ago, I attempting to snag an agent for what has become my three book action/adventure series. Having zero luck, I self-published.

When I was sending out queries, I did some research and found that the title, length and genre went first. From the samples I've seen here, it seems that's changed and the information now goes at the end. Is this true? If so, it seems a little odd because it requires the opening lines of the query to make the genre absolutely clear, which can make stating it at the end redundant, or at least forcing the agent to read the entire query, making him/her guess the genre. Obviously, I will write my query based on the current accepted format, whatever it is.
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In the past, my query format was something like this -

Dear Mr. Agent:

I noted on your website that your primary interest is in XXX, the genre of my novel titled YYY, complete at ZZZ words.

I would then provide a short blurb followed by a note indicating my attachment of the required number of pages/chapters and then the full synopsis.

has all of this changed? If so, what's the current format?
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My other questions have to do with the inclusion of autobiographical information and any writing credits. As mentioned, I've self-published and have had some success. Should I mention this? If my education, employment history, etc. had zero impact on my writing do I still have to include some sort of biographical information?

All responses will be greatly appreciated.




Ken,
kenteicherbooks.com
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itzrissa2u
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[*] posted on 5/19/2014 at 06:06 PM


I have seen it both ways and I think an agent wouldn't really care if it is in the last paragraph or the first.

Mine has it in the last paragraph- but if I personalize it to a particular agent then I would put the genre in the first and leave wordcount at the end.

Like...

Dear Agent:

You mentioned on Twitter you were actively looking for unicorn zombie fiction. My book, HORNEY ZOMBIES, is about a horse trying to survive a zombie unicorn apocalypse set in Disneyland.


(no that is not actually my book)




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Michy
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[*] posted on 5/21/2014 at 02:34 PM


I had a long post I started writing about this to you, but then I lost it when my computer rebooted without my permission! I'll be re-answering it later today. Sorry for the delay!




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chrisstevenson
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[*] posted on 5/21/2014 at 09:35 PM


I've always condensed mine and placed it in the upper left hand corner. I've never had any complaints. That way I don't start off the query describing the book, but get right into it. The editor or agent can glance and capture everything in one eye-full. Example:

Book Title
Book Genre (and/or sub genre)
Word Count

Sometimes an agent/author will ask for your address and telephone number or your FB, Twitter or website urls, and I put them on the left following the book information.




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artfirms
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[*] posted on 5/22/2014 at 12:51 AM


Where did my response to this go? Did you delete the whole thread and re-ask the question? Or was my response deleted?
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Michy
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[*] posted on 5/22/2014 at 08:26 AM


I didn't delete your response, Farah.... but I got a notification that you responded, and then it won't take me to the response, so it shows it was deleted. It's not a glitch either--it posted and has a post number, but then was removed.

Strange!




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Michy
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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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[*] posted on 5/22/2014 at 11:48 AM


Yes, I responded twice in a row, and I actively deleted ONE of the responses. Where's the other one? LOL!

Anyway, in a nutshell, no, it hasn't changed much. I am also a Sci Fi writer, so I looked into it, as I am also shopping my work to agents. I've noticed they like short concise synopses, something that is a 1 paragraph pitch. Too long, and they lose interest. That's why they make you either attach an excerpt, or they'll contact you to send one, IF they're interested.

The second thing they go for is why you're qualified to write this book. Yet another single quick paragraph that shows you know what the heck you're talking about, especially in our realm of SF.

Then your author bio, awards, publications...

You can end it with word count and the other stuff.

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[*] posted on 5/23/2014 at 06:08 PM


Actually never send an attachment unless they specifically ask you for one. Most agents will delete it unopened if you do.



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[*] posted on 5/24/2014 at 12:18 AM


Yup, that's true. Some agents have even asked that you paste it in the body of the email. Just see what the requirements are.
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