The Mysteries of a Query Letter

That mysterious struggle called 'writing a query letter'

I sat down to get a query letter onto a word  doc tonight.  I swear, even if I think I have it all there, I start second guessing myself.  They are so right when they say that it’s hard to write a query letter.  And I get why there is so much information out there on how to do it. Yet regardless of that, it still seems like a feat unto itself.  It is just not easy to write a query letter. 

Getting that pitch just right. Honestly, that has got to be one of the hardest parts for me.  The pitch.  Catchy enough but serious enough you don’t sound like a total nut.

Not adding too much to the bio, but still stating your qualifications.

Oh, and then, making sure it’s all written like a business letter.  I’m sorry, but I don’t do many business letters, and the last time I really remember doing a one was when I was learning how to do it in school.  I know I have written others since then, but I’ve forgotten where the address goes, does it need the whole name, and now, with the advent of email, where do you put the email address?  I spent about half an hour Googling where to put the darn email  address. I finally found it, but I’m questioning if I should put it at the top of the page in the header, or under my name. 

ARGH!  I just want someone else to write the query letter.  I’ll do the book. No problem, but I do not do well selling myself.   Uh….. that sounds a bit funny.  I do not do well trying to pitch my plot.  I write books, not proposals.

And all that griping aside, I think I have a fairly decent one. It might need a bit of tweaking, but all in all, I think I finally have something worth sticking in an envelope and nervously tapping my fingers for the ensuing 6-8 weeks.

Incidentally, researching the above picture, I found a marvelous blog post, that really clears a lot of things up.  And I recommend visiting it here  http://ingridsnotes.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/dan-lazar-crafting-a-winning-query-letter/

Writing On

~K.L.B.

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2 thoughts on “The Mysteries of a Query Letter

  1. Good luck with the query letter! I’ve got a couple for the same manuscript that I send out depending on what I think the literary agent’s personality is. One is very serious, one is more informal with a few witty remarks, etc. I found it hard enough trying to condense the book into a synopsis which is five pages!
    All the best,
    Emily

    • Well thank you very much, and I wish you the best of luck yourself! I can’t imagine condensing a book into a synopsis. I have a hard enough time with the picture book I’m doing. And this isn’t even the book I’ve been working on all year. I spent much of the year working on a completely different book, only to decide to try a different one. It’s crazy.
      But that’s a good bit of advice on your part. Thank you!
      And all the best to you as well,
      Katie Lyn

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