1. garionzrh
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    garionzrh New Member

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    What goes in a 'Query'?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by garionzrh, May 6, 2014.

    Hello everyone. One of the publishers I'm planning to submit to is asking for 'Query only' for email submissions. Unfortunately, they don't state what that query should entail.
    Do I write a full introduction of myself, and a synopsis of the story? or am i just asking if they'd be interested in my novel, and add the most basic of a plot line?
    Any help is -as always- greatly appreciated.
    Thank you very much.
    Marco
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    they don't tell you what to include in a query, because they assume anyone who's written a book and is querying publishers will know what a query is and how to write one... or should know, anyway...

    you can google for how to write a query, or email me for a slew of articles and tips from the pros on how to do it, that i can send you as attachments...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    This website has a clear summary of what goes into the letter:
    http://www.agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx

    A query letter has three concise paragraphs: the hook, the mini-synopsis, and your writer’s biography. Don’t stray from this format. You won’t catch an agent’s attention by inventing a creative new query format. You’ll just alienate your chances of being taken seriously as a professional writer. A query letter is meant to elicit an invitation to send sample chapters or even the whole manuscript to the agent. It’s not meant to show off how cute and snazzy you can be by breaking formatting rules and going against the grain. Keep it simple. Stick to three paragraphs. The goal is to get the agent to read your book, not to blow you off because you screwed up the introduction.


    I learned the word, 'logline' a year or so ago. It's not the word I would have chosen but it's the one that is used in the movie industry. Take a look at the loglines of the books the publishers you are sending the query to.

    Go to the link for lots of examples and more precise information.
     
  4. garionzrh
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    garionzrh New Member

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    Thank you very much, Mia. I found the same website last night, and got to work.
    I'll post the result in another thread, to see if anyone feels like critiquing my efforts. Once again, much appreciated, thank you!
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Umm, I'm Ginger not 'Mia'. ;)

    There's a sub-forum for query letter critiques. You need to be here 2 weeks (check) and have 20 posts (you need 12 more) including at least 2 critiques anywhere in the workshop before you can post your query letter. The reqs are easy and the feedback should be worth the effort.

    Welcome to the forum, by the way.
     
  6. garionzrh
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    garionzrh New Member

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    Ops, I guess I was a bit quick then to post. Thanks for the info. And sorry, Ginger, didn't mean to get your name wrong.
    And apologies in advance to MAIA (not Mia). My bad!
     
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  7. garionzrh
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    garionzrh New Member

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    By the way, since I already posted my Query Letter...is there any way I can delete it, before I get yelled at? :)
    I can't seem to find an edit/remove button.
    Thanks for your help
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm starting to formalize my query letter. I'm planning ahead for the NW Writer's conference coming up in August and I hope to pitch my book to publishers there. It's looking to be as important as the book itself to get the query and the pitch just right.
     
  9. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You could always send a PM to one of the moderators and ask them to for help (and don't worry, they are a bunch of nice people):
    Writing Forum's Staff List (The moderators are Wreybies, Minstrel, KaTrian and T.Trian.)

    To send a PM click on a user's name and then "Start a conversation".


    PS. You might want to check out the rules as well, if you haven't already.
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The Mods are generally patient with new members. :)
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i agree the agentquery site has the best how-to for a query... 'twas good of you to post it, ginger...

    even though i posted my endorsement of that site/how-to myself recently, my brain wasn't funcitioning on all cylinders i guess, when i wrote the above post... should make it a rule fo finish my morning's green tea before posting!

    hugs, m

    [mods: will you please add the agentquery site link to the 'writer resources' stickied list and all stickies to do with publishing?... it really needs to be there and i didn't see it win the query section just now, when i checked... should also be in the 'general writing' and overall 'publishing' sections, imo]
     
  12. bluejt2000
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    bluejt2000 Member

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    Your location is shown as Switzerland but what country are you submitting your MS to--your own, the USA, or the UK, for instance. The standard query format, though similar in some ways, differs between the UK and the USA, and it might be so for yours and other countries.
     
  13. garionzrh
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    garionzrh New Member

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    The US market, for the time being.
     
  14. ToDandy
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    ToDandy Contributing Member

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    Queries are actually a lot harder to write than you might think.

    Here is a phenomenal site that shows what people do wrong.

    http://queryshark.blogspot.com
     

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