Rule #1: When you begin your query letter, tell them what you want. Don’t blab on for paragraphs about your past history, even if it does in a very small way relate to your book.
Stupid Krista Example:
All my life I dreamed of my future husband. When I was a girl, I loved to lay in my bed and dream about what he would look like, what he would sound like. I loved to listen to married women tell their stories, and prayed that someday I would have a fun story to tell myself.
I am happy to tell you today that God answered my prayers! My husband and I have been married eight years now and I proudly tell my story to all who ask. When I tell people how we met, they do a double-take and promptly sit down to hear more. You see, I am one of the few, one of the proud, who have met their spouse online.
Yes, stop laughing. I really did start a query letter once with that garbage. (Thank you GOD I only sent it once before I realized my stupidity.) And mind you it’s all true, and it was leading up to telling about my book which features a guy and girl meeting in a chat-room, but yeah, uh, just don’t do it.
I also sent out a query letter once via e-mail and started it with a note that I’d been referred by a well-known author. They website says in a page to aspiring writers, “You’ll need an agent. I use… blah blah blah.” Granted, I was honest, I said I was referred by so and so via their website, but still. So very very tacky! Only mention a referral if you KNOW that person and you really were referred. Otherwise, you’ll be promptly met with the DELETE button.
A little better Krista Example:
Dear wonderful awesome agent dude/lady:
I am currently seeking agent representation for a contemporary romance novel I have completed, and would be honored if you would consider partnering with me on this venture.
My novel is about Jenny, an introverted accountant, who meets Jack, a single dad, in an Internet chat room. (etc. etc.)
First, don’t copy me. I don’t have an agent yet, so this might be a load of crud, plus it will make us both look stupid if you send it to someone I’ve already sent it too and the agent gets deja-vu. *grin* But, my point is, I changed it to be direct, professional, and to the point. What do I want? Agent representation… What is my book about? Glad you asked, let me just tell you!
Thanks for sharing your real life examples, Krista! I guess this is your own personal queryfail, eh? I’m sure we could all contribute a few of our own!
Your new and improved example is really great! Have you had any interest? Sounds like a unique story.
I’ve only sent the new and improved version once recently. Waiting patiently on that one:-) Still prayerfully considering what other agents to query right now.
Yes, I’m not a HUGE fan of the whole blasting people’s query letters in public but hold nothing against agents that use the method for teaching. BUT, I think as a writer it’s fun sometimes to look at comparisions to show how much our writing/business savvy has grown.
LOL! I thought it was entertaining! Thanks for sharing. Have you sent many query’s since? Every now and again I like to change mine up a little.
I haven’t sent out many queries. I’m always in a pickle about knowing how to spend my time. I have very little of it:-)
Do I spend it writing and editing and tweeking my craft, or trying to find an agent to market what I’ve already written?
I’ll probably write more about this dilemma in the following days *grin*
And I agree. When I do send out query letters, I like to change at least something so it’s personalized to that agent. NOt something goofy, but I want them to know that I’m writing it for THEM and not just sending it in mass to fifteen billion agents…
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