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I look at the query as a sales tool. The object is to make the reader want more and want it so much more that they say "send it."

Once that is accomplished, the letter is done. It should take less time, not more.

Mark Schannon

Vikk...so easy to say. I know that! I just can't seem to do it. I even had folks at Backspace rewrite what they thought was my better query, but I still know it's not right.

And, not surprisingly, you didn't comment on either of mine. They suck! But there's a new version going out that's better but still not there. It's in my head...I can feel it; I just can't get it out.


When I look at a query, I'm not trying to convey an entire plot. I'm looking at 3-4 paragraphs of which one is a hook, one or two basically encapsulate the book, the next one sizes me up--quickly--and I'm out.

Essentially I want the agent/editor to know up front that the book is completed, provide the most enticing thing about my book that I think they would want to know, and give them an understanding of the genre or where it fits into the marketplace--and its size and scope. I want the to understand that I know a book has to have a beginning, a middle, and an end--no surprises for them--and get a taste of my writing style. I wnat to them to know where I fit in among other writers. What I have to offer, what I've been doing, whatever is relevant to them wanting to see the book. (I'm published--if I am--and I yadda yadda yadda.)

Then I'm out.

That said, it takes a lot of rewrites to get a huge concept distilled but if you can come up with a formula that works for you, then you can tweak it to make it work for that particular book.

May not work for others but it's been effective for me and I don't generally have to send out massive numbers of query. I do tend to target my queries to specific agents and editors.

Mark Schannon

That's the formula I'm trying to use. And I'm very careful about targeting agents, which is why it can take an hour to get one query out.

And you send to editors at publishing houses directly? I always thought that rarely worked.

thesis writing

Extremely long but very useful and informative article. How i wish i can do all of that in a short period of time. But for sure doing those will produce results. I will try to spread your words through my blog and link it back to you. Thanks a lot for those tips.

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