Flake-out Friday–Query Tips

*****Don’t forget to enter my 300/500 followers contest to win a crit and book of your choice! The deadline is July 31, 2011 Midnight EST, so please spread the word!*****

One of the many reasons I freak out during querying time has to do with perfecting my query letter. I’ve written seven novels and therefore drafted seven query letters. Some of them never saw the light of day (because I never ended up querying the project), but I still felt the angst of shrinking a 75-85,000 word manuscript down to a measly 250 words…all while keeping the voice, tension, conflict, and world-building essentials.

YIKES!

Over the almost three years I’ve been writing, I have accumulated many tips that I find are ESSENTIAL, so I’ve decided to list them for you.

QUERY TIPS:

  • Address the letter to Dear Agent
  • Alternatively, use their first name
  • Don’t bother giving the word count or genre; the agent will figure that out based on your letter
  • BEG them to read your work–bribing with chocolate or money helps
  • Use fancy, hard to read fonts and bright colors
  • Attach your full manuscript to the equery
  • Send your letter to ten agents at a time as a group email
  • Don’t worry about typos–they’re not that big a deal
  • Give a detailed resume, especially of non-writing related things so the agent knows you’re well-rounded
  • Be as vague as possible–it creates mystery
  • Tell them the ending so there are no surprises
  • Write the query letter as if it’s the main character talking

Did I miss any?

 

300/500 Followers Contest!

Whee!!!! I’m so excited that I am approaching the 300 follower mark on my blog and I’ve now surpassed the 500 follower mark on Twitter!

To share the love, I’m going to host a contest. It’s super easy, I promise. All you have to do is:

  • Follow my blog (click on the subscription button on the right)
  • Leave a comment on this post 

You will get an extra point each for:

  • Tweeting about the contest
  • Facebooking (is that a real word? 😉 ) about the contest
  • Blogging about the contest
The prizes:
  1. A book of your choice + a 20 page critique
  2. A book of your choice + a 10 page critique
  3. A book of your choice
The contest will close on July 31, 2011 at MIDNIGHT Eastern Standard Time.
Super cool, right? So get goin’ and spread the word, dear followers!  😉
Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog update: It’s Wednesday, so be sure to check out Sarah’s strategy for maintaining patience while querying!