Even though it is a tedious process, I think that creating queries can be kind of fun. There’s definitely a balance to it. How long should you talk credentials? Or what if I don’t have any? How much should I summarize my book?
And the biggest question I had: how do I even begin this?
I’ve read many articles giving advice. Some say you should open with a personal note to the agent. Others say you should open with a selling line encapsulating your story.
Let me take a second to clarify that I have only done queries for fiction books. I realize that the process is a bit different for non-fiction books.
The best advice I’ve heard and used is to think of the query as a professional way to sell your book to agents. I think of reading the back covers of my favorite books. I really like how they sell the stories to readers, so I think of how I’d sell my story to people. After that, I think of a hook to put before this summary.
Unfortunately I don’t really have any prior publishing experience, so my personal portion is extremely brief. I just really want the agent to know how much I enjoyed my project, and that it is not the first novel I’ve written. Personally, and I’m not sure how effective this is, I just really want to convey how much I love to do what I do. I think that if you can show your passion and am excited with your work, it helps other people be excited for your work too.
Also, I always try to put a valid reason about why I am querying an agent. I try not to get personal here, because I don’t want to creep anyone out. I keep this part to one or two sentences and very professional.
Later I might post the first draft of the first query I’d ever written. I wrote it a few years ago, and recently discovered it. It’s pretty hilarious, to say the least. It’ll be a good confidence booster to all the other authors out there. What kind of advice have you heard that you like? Any silly advice or effective advice?
I think we all learn something with each query we send, and I love hearing about success stories! It brings hope to the rest of us query-ers.