It’s Time to Query!

March 14, 2009 § 4 Comments

2508249111_7f7b205e5fNew experience today: writing my first query letter.

For the past six months, we – my writing partner Marc and I – have put together a collection of flash fiction, poetry and his illustrations. The creative work is done and now we’re taking the next steps. Although the boom in self publishing and publishing on demand allows us to take our product immediately to market (ooh, don’t I sound business-like?), we decided to try for an agent first.

Finding one should be tough, but the internet makes it easy. We’re using two free sites: Agent Query to identify agents and LitMatch for tracking. Agent Query identifies agents by genre, whether they accept email queries (so convenient!) and if they are currently accepting inquiries.

Since we’re sharing the work of sending out the queries, Marc and I created a account on LitMatch that we’ll share (wanna guess the password?) so we can each track the queries and responses we receive. No need to send multiple emails – we’ll just look online.

If you’ve sent queries for short story collections, I’d sure like your advice.

Pretty please?

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§ 4 Responses to It’s Time to Query!

  • alantru says:

    Glad I could help a bit. Good luck!

  • Alan, thank you. I knew about the “infusion,” but was wondering about including audience and marketing plan -I wanted to, but hadn’t read that advice anywhere. I will add these in!

    poch, I don’t know those sites. Thanks – I’ll check them out.

  • pochp says:

    I haven’t made a query letter yet but I suggest these sites:
    NewPages.com and FirstWriter.

  • alantru says:

    I have two agents. One for TV and one for books. (I make my living writing for television – and I’ve never had a book published.) I got my TV agent by making a cold call and my literary agent through a contact.

    So for what it’s worth (and believe me, I’m not saying it’s much) here is my advice…

    Your query letter should be infused with your personality so that your potential agent gets a really good sense of who you are and your writing style. When you pitch make sure the potential agent sees you have a very clear understanding of your book’s demographic The “it’s for everyone” approach doesn’t usually work.

    I’d also suggest you let the agent know you have a marketing and PR plan. If you don’t have a PR plan, I’d suggest you consider putting one together that includes traditional and social media. If an agent sees that you understand the market, your book’s demographic, and that you have ideas how to reach out to potential buyers and are also willing to do leg work, it can improve your odds of him/her wanting to read your stuff.

    I have no idea if this any help, but I certainly wish you all the best of luck!

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