1. HondaWriter
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    HondaWriter Member

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    A query request from a writing agency?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by HondaWriter, Oct 20, 2009.

    Hello fellow writers,

    Im very new here, as this is my first post. About three weeks ago I was approached via email by a writing agency that read one of my short stories off a webzine and wanted to know if I had a book in the works. It just so happens that I do. They requested a query and a fifty page sample.

    The fifty page sample, I understand. But can someone help define what a query is? I've done some searching on the net and it seems to be either a letter or a synopsis.

    Im excited about the inquiry, but am keeping my hopes down about it all.

    Thanks for you help,
     
  2. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    A quiry letter is just that, a letter making an inquiry or a request. I know this stuff can happen in real life, but requests like this are very rare, so I'd check out how legit the agency is before sending them anything if I were you.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Make sure you research the agency with a good google search. Try adding keywords like scam or complaints. I have to say, for an agency to contact you out of the blue raises red flags for me.
     
  4. HondaWriter
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    HondaWriter Member

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    I write for the enjoyment of writing and am very new to the whole business aspect of it all. And when I received the email, I immediately thought it was a scam too. But the agency isn't requested reading fees and after researching the agency, it seems very legit. The agency is Irene Goodman out of New York. I wanted to ask them what they mean by query, but dont want to look too ignorant about the process. Maybe they meant to say, send a 50 page query?
     
  5. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    I doubt it...I think a query is essential

    I almost got scammed and checked with user on here who warned me. I hope that doesn't happen to you.
    Good luck
     
  6. Peter715
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    Peter715 New Member

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    Hi,

    You want to send the 50 pages and a query letter, basically an introduction as to who you are and a short pitch of your book. Make sure you mention in the letter that they approached you, include the link to where they first saw your work.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
     
  7. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have heard of this sort of thing happening, but in general you would be right.
     
  8. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    If the agency is requesting 50 pages of your work, they certainly don't need a query letter (which is what you send to agents asking if they'd be willing to read some of your manuscript). I'd send an appropriate letter that addresses their request, myself (along with your 50 pages if you want to have them read it).

    My guess is that 50 pages of your manuscript will get you a response that politely suggests your work needs some editing and guidance (for which there will be a fee), and that may be pretty much why they're cruising the internet to find samples of writers to solicit (for their editing service or one that they're using). That said, you have nothing to lose but postage if you don't find any contraindicating evidence when you investigate them. Just be wary of feedback that sounds like your manuscript has glowing potential ... if only you'll pay for some professional editing and rewriting advice. That's my two.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    molly..
    you could have spent a few seconds checking them out, before suspecting this highly respected agency of being a scam...

    honda...
    you've hit the motherload, kiddo!... here's p&e's listing on that agency:

    from her site:

    a query is merely a letter... if peter's fine explanation isn't detailed enough for you to follow, you can email me for tips on how to write an effective one and help doing so...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  10. HondaWriter
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    HondaWriter Member

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    Here's how it was worded in the email:

    "If so, you can email a query with a large partial (50 pages or so) to queries@irenegoodman.com;"
     
  11. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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  12. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    mammamaia..
    He was already given the advice to check them out (which is always a good thing). I made no assumptions myself about either the agency or this writer, other than to imagine he was perfectly capable of investigating them by himself. If you had "spent a few seconds" yourself reading my entire reply, you would see that my suggestion was to respond to their specific communication (acknowledging that they were the ones who solicited him), if he decided to have them take a look at his novel manuscript. And. since his express concern had to do with whether this was a scam or not, it was clear he did not know what kind of red flags to watch out for.
     
  13. HondaWriter
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    HondaWriter Member

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    I was more asking about the query letter rather than about Irene Goodman. Thinking it was a scam was my initial thought since when do agents contact us? But after the email from them, I googled Irene Goodman and found them to be legit like I posted in this thread. They told me they mostly represent romance authors but are looking to expand their genres.

    Im not trying to ruffle feathers, just curious because from my online searches, I've found a bunch of different definitions of what a query is.
     
  14. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    In your case, since they are requesting it, your letter would be slightly different than most of the samples. It would have to indicate that you are sending the 50 page sample as per their request, and how the contact was made so that they know it's real and all that. Maia is the only one here I know of who has the level of expertise to advise you properly and let you know when you've got it right.

    And sorry about all the scam warnings. We get so many people here who don't know to look for these things so that if you haven't said you've done it, the warning comes as an automatic reflex.
     
  15. HondaWriter
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    HondaWriter Member

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    So Poetry.com is not a scam?




    ...kidding! :D
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if there's a worse word than scam, that's what it is! ;-)
     
  17. rachel21321
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    rachel21321 Member

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    How exciting for you, I wish you all the best. Could you possibly link me to what the agency read, the webzine short or whatever. I'm very interested.
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Not in the thread.
     
  19. HondaWriter
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    HondaWriter Member

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    Well, I broke down and sent the agency an email asking what exactly to send. They replied within an hour. I need to send as an attachment, a quick synopsis, bio and a large sample (around 50 pages) of the manuscript. No query letter is needed.

    Now back to work...
     

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