Posts tagged query letters
Posts tagged query letters
There are a lot of reasons for a writer to have a pen name—from a difficult-to-pronounce (and therefore difficult-to-remember) last name, to switching genres, to privacy needs, and others. But you might be confused about just how far you should take it. Do you really commit to it and make no mention of your real name, or do you give out both and risk confusion? The following guidelines will help you with those decisions.
Does your query letter show off your book project using every possible advantage? If you want to hit the high points and impress agents with your book pitch, you’ll want to demonstrate that you’re the complete package—the right author with the right book at the right time.
Use our list below to see if your query letter is hitting all the right notes or if you’ve got room to improve.
We’ve written numerous articles on the do’s and don’ts of querying literary agents and publishers from our 19 years of experience helping writers make well-targeted submissions. But in case our words haven’t made a big enough impression, we hope you’ll pay close attention to these tips directly from Ashley Christman, Executive Editor and Publisher at Entranced Publishing. She was kind enough to be our guest blogger today and offer our readers some straight-from-the-source insider information on how your query is evaluated once it reaches her desk.
Would you like to guest blog for Writer’s Relief, or have us guest blog for you? Learn more here: http://www.writersrelief.com/guest-blogging-guidelines/
Here are the most common mistakes we at Writer’s Relief see in the query letters that are sent to our Review Board. Don’t make these amateur errors when you’re submitting your work! Some of these may surprise you.
Writing the query letter blurb (or mini-synopsis) for your book isn’t easy. And sometimes the difficulties with query writing stem from the fact that you as the author may not have the best perspective on your own book because you’re too close to it. You want all your characters and subplots to be in the query letter.
We’ve written articles about composing a mini-synopsis for your query letter before. But this week, we wanted to dig a little deeper into how you as a writer can identify the key points for your query (and let the rest fall away). Here are some things to remember. These are not rules, but they are strategies to seriously consider.
When submitting book queries, your letter has precious little time to grab the attention of the literary agent reading it. If you don’t get to the meat of the book right away, your query might end up in the recycling bin. The following guidelines will help you compose a letter that will keep agents’ attention long enough to give your manuscript a fighting chance.
There are many paths to publishing these days—through online E-presses, self-publishing, print on demand, and independent or university-affiliated publishing houses. But most of the writers who come to Writer’s Relief dream of being among the small percentage of authors who publish their book with traditional publishing houses, like Penguin, Random House, or Hachette. We are often asked “Why does Writer’s Relief query literary agents before publishing houses?”