I’ll be forgoing the actual question this weekend. My reason for that is here. Instead I’m posting a mock query letter and I hope any authors who stop by will check it out, give a quick comment on what you think works or doesn’t, what’s worked for you, etc.
NOTE: I’m not asking for critique of MY query. This is an example only, for illustrative purposes.
I’ve added a couple of notes as to why I went the way I did with certain things. Please feel free in the comments to ask those “but what about…” or “but what if…” questions. And it’s a little long, so I’m putting the query after the jump.
Don’t forget, if you’ve got an anything-writing-related question, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with Weekend Question in the subject line! All questions are posted anonymously, and authors who wish to answer anonymously can email their answers to me, as well.
The Mock Query Letter:
(1) Yes, it’s unusual to have this up front instead of the third paragraph being credentials. My books are pretty much my only credentials so instead of trying to stretch it out, I left it at that. If the blurb captures an editor’s interest and she’s interested in what I’ve done, she’ll just go to my website anyway. I chose to do this way in the interest of white space.
What is white space? I did a screencap of my Word doc to show it:
(2) That mentality of sticking something there knowing there’s a 90% chance they’ll change it anyway doesn’t work. You want an amazing title that captures his or her attention.
(3) Eight-eight words. And, to be honest, I still think it’s too long.
(4) Standard stuff.
(5) There are many, many people who open with the book blurb here, and it’s not wrong. My personal take on this: I don’t want the editor to read the blurb for the first time trying to place what kind of book it is. I’ve told her pretty much what she needs to know, so there’s less distraction for the blurb.
And that’s it. It doesn’t need to be wordy, and hopefully piques her interest enough she’ll request the partial without giving her enough detail to think it sounds like something else she’s done. It’s easy on the eyes, doesn’t waste her time and serves its purpose.
And, besides comments, if anybody has links to good query examples, feel free to post them. I know if you go to Kristin Nelson’s blog and scroll down to “Agent Kristin”s Queries: An Inside Scoop”, she has examples of successful queries (that are all totally different than my example