Blog Archives

Straight to business on query

Writing the painstaking query letter has proven not to be easy. Taking the entire story, wrapping it up into a tiny small package, and still hitting key points minus all the background, explanation, imagery, and art. I have fluffed, puffed, fumbled, and strained my manuscript in attempts to make something that is reminiscent of a professional query letter. I have only gotten a single bite, requesting more information from the query I  was using. I decided to change things up a bit, but found a conversation in the authorqueryconnect.com forum, which swayed my eye.

Appropriately titled “I am DONE querying” the young lady vents about the frustrations of querying. From this she tells the world that she plans to self-publish. There is response upon response giving credit to trying to query, but also offering support and encouragement for the process. I was distracted by this momentarily, but then got back to my query letter.

I stared at the blank word document. I wanted to start fresh. After staring and toiling over how I should structure the hook, where I should start, the verbiage and feel of the words and sentences as a whole. One sentence continued to go through my head. It summed up the entire book, and if phrased correctly could draw interest. I went at it. Cut out the fluff, description, and specifics to tell of what the book was about. Two sentences that wrap up what the book is about,

“A small group of Christians, deemed a terrorist group, must be defeated. President Andrew Rakford is the man to do so, but at the risk of being called the anti-christ.”

So the deal is, I have submitted this query to several agents. I have also posted this on agentqueryconnect.com where it has gotten some great feedback. Here’s hopin’! But hey, if I don’t get the representation I seek, I can always go it alone. (again) It won’t be a problem.

The first “Partial” request

Good Afternoon!

March 19th was a monumental writing day. That is the day that I got my first request for a partial manuscript! I have queried some twenty five agents and I finally got a response. Reading over the email she sent requesting the material left me reading it over four then five times. When I got home that evening I was able to sit down and really read through the email. Very specific instructions were outlined in the email, and asked for a two page synopsis, a biography, and the first fifty pages of my manuscript, double spaced with .5 inch margins all around…justified.

Querying, itself, has proven to be a difficult task. The first obstacle is finding a website that gives information on any agent or agency. Then you have to read each persons biography to find out which one, if any, will appeal to your style of story. Once you have found the perfect match, there is a process of rewriting the letter to meet the specific needs of the agent. The rest, we have all done a thousand times. OH and by all means don’t forget to compare your letter to Query shark.

I was completely unaware of the additional items that were needed once a partial was requested. I thought my query was as chopped down a synopsis as you could get! I began my search at 2 o’clock in the morning to find out what she might have been looking for when it came to a synopsis. Seeking representation means you have to play by their rules and ensure that everything meets their requirements before you can even decide if you want them or not. Oh, yes! Don’t forget that you can go through all of these hoops and ladders and finally decide that this is not the agent for you.

It took three days before I could respond to the email I was so excited to finally receive. I read through those first fifty pages about fifty times. I then had to write an acceptable synopsis using Nathan Bransford’s blog as a guideline. I then dusted off an old biography, fixed it up then sent my reply. Now I shall wait 12 weeks before I inquire if she liked it or not, but here’s hoping that I get a full request soon!

Thank you,

Caleb A. Mertz