Queries Can Make Your Knees Shake

Day 17 :  #atozchallenge

Writing a query for the first time can make your knees shake and tremble, or so I’ve heard.

What is a query?

It is a letter of communication pitching either a short form or long form manuscript to a publisher or agent. Short forms include magazine articles, short stories, or poems. Long form – novels, screenplays, non-fiction books, or a collection.

What does a query include?

Essential components of a successful query should include these three things.

  1. The hook – a one-sentence summary of the book.
  2. The pitch – 2 to 3 paragraphs which support your hook and should include who (the protagonist), what (the conflict they face), where (setting), when (time frame), why (stakes) and resolution.
  3. A bio – one paragraph or less, to describe your writing credits and platform.

I had the privilege of working on the query for my first novel with Luke Reynolds, author of Keep Calm and Query On (perfect title). His input and direction were invaluable. 415aJ0aVUiL

Where to send it:

Finding the correct agency to send your query will take some research. You want to make sure you’re sending your query to the correct agency and agent. Visit Barnes & Nobles, the library or Amazon and check out books similar to yours. Knowing the competition is key to getting your query and book to the right person and place. And remember, always address the agent by name, never “To Whom it may concern.”

To find the agents best suited for your book, check out Writer’s Market and Land a Literary Agent

Are you ready to query? Want to know more about writing the perfect Query? Stay calm and check out these resources.

If you want to know more about Luke , check out his guest blog for the Cow Pasture Chronicles. You can check it out here: Walking the Walls of a Writer’s Life.

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, and Contently.


17 thoughts on “Queries Can Make Your Knees Shake

  1. In a few months, exactly four, I will be writing the query for my first manuscript. I have been taking classes from a writing coach/book editor and I will do a short one on one class with her on queries because query writing is a big problem for me. I don’t have problems writing a book or a short story. Sure, I get frustrated at times when I write but I write through it. However, when it comes to writing a query, my knees shake, my legs tremble and I go through a thousand what if scenes.

    I am already a subscriber to writer’s market and some other good writing journals. I’ll see what happens in September.

    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You and I have similar minds for the letter Q as well 🙂 I actually took a query writing class on LitReactor.com by literary agent, Maria Vicente. It was amazing, and I learned so much. Having others (including Maria) read and critique my query, allow me to make changes, and then read it again, it really helped me to see where I was going wrong and how I could fix the issues. Now I have a query I’m proud to send out to agents and publishers!

    Ink & Stitches – http://blog.jhwinter.com

    Liked by 1 person

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