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Friday, April 19, 2013

Q: Querying

Queries ......

Need I say more?

Most people hate queries - and I don't blame them! It's hard to write a query! Ok, for most of us it is. But there are a few select that have query super powers and I am grateful to them for helping me get my query ready and sent out!

So for the rest of us who do not have query super powers - here is what I have learned (I hope it may it be helpful to you in some way):

Queries should be neat and clean
Keep it to about 250 words (No this is not impossible - yes it is difficult)
Check spelling and grammar

Queries should be formatted like a business letter
Single spaced with double between paragraphs
Aligned to the left - no indents
Be profession
End with "Sincerely"

Queries should be have voice and attention grabbing
Don't tell the ending
It should have the same voice as your book and sound like your manuscript when read
Give them the good stuff not the fluff

Do your homework!
Find out what the agency/publishing company wants
Are they currently accepting your genre?
Address the person by name if possible

Critique groups rock!!
Let people read your query!! I cannot emphasize this enough! Let them read it, edit it, help you clean it up. Don't lose your own words and your own voice - but don't underestimate the value of those who have come before and who can get that query polished beyond what you can do alone!

My query got a full manuscript request by following these simple guidelines. So thank you to everyone who helped me get it to where it is!
And for those out there who, like me, are terrified of writing queries .... there is hope! I promise!

Just for fun - and to see how to NOT write a query letter - check out this website :)


  1. I found the Absolute Write "Query Hell" forum REALLY useful, and yet really frustrating too. I just could not get any of my queries right, though at times I was led to believe I was getting close...for a while, till someone else came along and blew my nice almost-done query out of the water. :P

  2. All excellent points on the query and congratulations on your full MS.

  3. My query wasn't working. I discovered that the novel was the problem...

  4. Trisha, I know the feeling! That's why I read the slushpilehell website. It makes me feel immensely better about my query

    Elizabeth, Thank You !

    Liz, lol I fully understand that one! Keep going though, I'm sure you'll turn it into something great!


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