Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Query Letters

Just like death and taxes, query letters are a part of the writer's life. I wish it wasn't so, but it is, and alas, my friend . . . sorry, was having a Greensleeves moment there. I love that song, btw, and the Christmas version What Child is This . . . but, as usual, I digress . . .

The indomitable (sorry, always wanted to use that word, and just did) Janet Reid of FinePrint Lit has done a number of posts about query letters. Her latest is . . . feeling rejected. Some other posts of interest are . . . query letter checklist and what's not a query letter. Oh, and she also posted something to remember if you 'hate queries'. She's on a roll, people!

In the first post, Janet explains why a querier (word? if not, now it is) might have received a form rejection.

In the second post, she gives the readers of her blog a handy-dandy checklist to follow when compiling the query letter.

In the third post . . . well, the title says it all. Enough! Said!

Now, any aspiring writer of merit, and some without merit, knows that the query letter is normally the key to the magic door of the Realm of Agents. Without that key, you're not getting in, no way, no how, not even with Aladdin's magic lamp and the help of a snarky, margarita drinking genie!

The query is KEY! A bad query is quite helpful in getting form rejections or the dreaded no response, and is also directly responsible for the battering your self esteem takes every time you receive a form rejection or no response.

There are tons, tons, tons of helpful sites out there to help you with the query letter.

Nathan Bransford has these helpful tips . . . the basic query letter formula, examples of good queries, and how to format your query letter.

The Public Query Slushpile is a place to post your query and receive critiques. Definitely! Worthwhile! The site also provides great query and writing resources. Rick Daley is responsible for the site, so . . . check it out, and his personal blog as well.

Then, there is Elana. She's definitely not last, or least, but she is the last mention in this post. She has an Ebook coming out on September 14 called From the Query to the Call that she mentioned in her WiP Wednesday post. I also mentioned it in my Friday post.

Now, you're wondering why in the heck didn't Scott just put a nifty little link to that post. Well, you see, dear readers, I'm cheating right now. Yes, I'm cheating. I'm typing this post on Thursday, so Friday hasn't happened, so I can't linkity-link to that post yet, because, well, last time I checked, I wasn't a time traveller. Nope, not at all. Yes, I could edit this post tomorrow, after the other post posts (yeah, try saying that twenty-five times fast), but, I'm lazy sometimes! So, click on the link above and check out the info about Elana's slammin' new book. No, not psychic either, I just have a lot of faith in Elana. : )

Lastly, there are a ton of other blogs out there about queries. This post is just a general info post. Sooner or later (oooh, having a flashback to the Grassroots - okay, they're a band from the sixties, my much older sisters listened to their music, and yeah, I have their greatest hits CD - temptation eyes . . .), every writer must write a query. Go forth boldly . . . and with the knowledge to do it right the first time so your fragile self-esteem doesn't take a beating!



Barb said...

Thanks for the info about Elana's eBook. I am very interested in it.

Hope your querying goes well. I want to read your book!

Tess said...

Great resource here, Scott. Well thought out and put together.

Hope your weekend was relaxing.

Robyn Campbell said...

You're NOT a time traveler? Well, can you cook, say, soup?? :)

Thanks for all the great links. We writers always appreciate links that we can click on. But of course we HAVE to TYPE out Elana's blog address since you scheduled your post FIVE days ago! Hehehehe

Are you on vacation?? :)

Scott said...

Barb - I hope the querying, once I get to that point (soon, very soon), goes very well.

Tess - weekend was great! We went to see Wicked. Absolutely Fantastic.

Robyn - nope, not a time traveler, but I can cook up a tasty batch of soup! I'm not on vacation. I've just been very inspired lately, so I write the blogs ahead of time and just schedule them to automatically post. I have the entire week scheduled already. Woo-hoo!


ElanaJ said...

This is awesome link salad. I love all those links. Hmm...some of them are even in the ebook... You rawk!

Scott said...

Elana - you should know by now that every now and then you and I are in sync. Scary, isn't it? Ha!

Davin Malasarn said...

Why do I feel like some important law of physics has been forever broken after reading this post?

Thanks for the thorough list, Scott!

FYI, another way "in"--if you want to get around the query letter--is to meet an agent in person or through a referral. I'm not saying that's easy, but it's another way.

Scott said...

Davin - I promise, no laws were broken in the creation of this post. Even if they were, I could travel back in time and fix them. : )

beth said...

Great collection! I'm going to save this post...