Since finishing my novel (wait…I need to let those four words sink in a moment), I have begun the query process. I thought about my query letter for awhile and had a draft on my computer for a year because I knew my brain would be fried and overwhelmed at the thought of trying to pitch something I just poured every ounce of myself into. After reading some successful query letters and doing some research online, I settled on the following formula for my ONE PAGE query letter (it shouldn’t be longer than that):
- Killer opening – I love my opening so hopefully it’s not a turn off to agents. I chose to connect the truest thing I know about writing to my story.
- Pitching Poppy Swings – Here is where I included my word count, the novel’s finished status, and a elevator pitch of the plot.
- Setting Poppy Swings apart with a hook – This short paragraph is where I gave one final push on my novel. What makes my novel stand out?
- Bio and qualifications – This paragraphs is brief since this is my first creative endeavor. However, I do note that I have writing publications in both the academic and more casual blogosphere.
My top three resources for query letters are:
- Jane Friedman’s Complete Guide to Query Letters (Seriously, it’s COMPLETE. Jane rocks)
- NY Book Editor’s Advice on How to Write a Darn Good Query Letter (I loved that it had successful query examples from published works)
- The Write Life’s advice on How Many Agents to Query (Proceed with caution and intelligence so you can figure out if you have a weak query, a week synopsis, or weak sample chapters if you find you are facing constant rejection)
Also, I think it’s important to stay organized on WHO you have queried, WHEN you queried them, and HOW LONG you could wait for a reply (if you get a reply at all). I stumbled upon Querytracker and really love it. Not only do they help you organize all of the information to keep you sane during this stressful process, but they also have many agents listed and take the guesswork out of how (or if) they accept queries (snail mail, email, or online form).
Here is a screenshot of what I see when I log in:
I have a few more queries to send out, but then I wait to see if I get some bites. Fingers crossed that an agent gets hooked and sees the beauty and potential in my story!