QUITE THE QUERY with Mary Elizabeth Summer and TRUST ME, I’M LYING

chasingthecrazies

QuiteTheQuery

If you ask any writer about the process of connecting with their agent (or publisher), the majority will say the most difficult part was querying. Not only the actual process of sending out the letters/emails, but formulating the query itself. In fact, I’ve heard more than a few writers say writing their query took them almost as long as drafting their book!

Some people have the talent of being able to summarize their book in a few sentences. But for those who don’t, I wanted to provide a resource so writers could learn what works, and what doesn’t, in a query.

With that in mind, I’m pleased to share today’s successful query from Mary Elizabeth Summer. This great query connected her with her agent, Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency.

Julep Dupree is not a real person. In fact, Julep isn’t even her real name. She’s a grifter, a con artist, a master…

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How To Improve Your Chances of Querying Success

Aussie Writers

cockatoo

I’ve been at this game for a while now, so I thought I’d give some advice on what I’ve noticed helps people progress through the querying process. So, here’s my advice….


1. Social Media

As an acquiring editor, this is something I know is a big deal. An author needs to show they are capable of promoting their work and building a fan base before even signing a contract. So, while preparing the query, set up an author page on Facebook, get involved in Twitter, and set up a blog. Any other social media is also great. If you prefer Tumblr, Pinterest, etc, go ahead and set up a profile on those too. But Twitter is probably a must, since the writing community is strong there, along with twitter pitching and notifications of upcoming pitching competitions and other events.

2. Critique Groups/Partners and Beta Readers

Feedback is the best…

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The Magic Bullet

Query Letter

Am I Doing This Right?

IMG_5994.JPG

In the Bizzaro world of novel writing, the query letter is like the first of a series of steps to selling your novel by degrees.

Yeah, it confuses us, too.

Like with food, there’s the sample in that little paper cup. But what you don’t realize is that before you get to the sample there are a few smaller steps. Before you pick up the sample, something has to catch your attention, like a smell, or a friendly salesperson holding out the paper cup, or an eye-catching box.

But before that you have to be a little hungry, and the food being offered has to be something you’d actually ever eat. As opposed to, say, a bit of salami if you’re a vegetarian. And you have to have room in your budget to buy the product.

But before that, you have to be out at the store, doing some shopping…

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Cover Letters

SplittingOak, and other verbs and nouns

Cover letters are an interesting beast. On the one hand, they should be professional, succinct and to the point. On the other, they are so boring. Today I applied for a role and wrote a cover letter from scratch. I’m actually pretty proud of it, and I thought rather than write a blog post, I could just copy and paste the body of the letter here! Boom, two birds. I’ve left off all of the specifics so that none of you sneaky readers can go applying for the job. As much as I love competition, I love getting a job more. Everything within square brackets has been changed from the original, in case there is any confusion. Here goes:

[Date]

[Name]

[Company]

Dear [Person Who I hope Likes Me],

RE: [The role I’m applying for…]

I am writing today to apply the role specified, advertised on [date]. And that is as…

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