Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Query

I've got my submission packet ready.  All I need is to finalize my query.  This one-page query can make all the difference in getting your manuscript read.  Writing a query is like writing a sales pitch to the editor.  You want to make your book sound like a potential best seller.  A key to writing a query is to summarize your book in a way that sounds like a jacketflap.  This can be more difficult to do than it sounds.  It takes me a long time to write a query- sometimes as long as it takes me to write my story or article.  That's how important the query is.

Here are a few things to include in your query:

  • Include some market rationale
  • Let the editor know why you have chosen to submit to her and why
  • Mention why you think your story would suit the publishing house or fill a market   need
  • You may want to compare it to something similar the house has published
  • Show how it fits a them or topic that the house is interested in
  • Respond directly to a comment the editor has made (or a comment in the market listing) and show how your manuscript answers to this comment
So that's it for now.  I've got some serious writing to do.  I need to finish my query letter.


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