Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Query Letters

Tip of the Day: want to win some cool prizes? Chances are your library has summer reading programs going on all summer, and adults can win fun stuff just for reading!

As promised, here is a sample query letter for one of my books:

Dear Mr. or Ms. Agent,

Because of your interest in teen fiction, I thought you might enjoy my contemporary YA novel DON’T ASK ALLY. Don’t Ask Ally is complete at 60,000 words, and should appeal to teen girls that love adventure and romance novels, such as those by Ally Carter or Meg Cabot.

When 16-year old Ally Harrison inadvertently gives relationship advice to one-half of The Couple of the Century in a Robertsville, Indiana theme park, her face appearing all over the national tabloids as the “new Dr. Phil” is the least of her problems. After her misinterpreted advice causes the reconciliation of rock star Jet Michaels and Nicole Porter, Ally’s Jr./Sr. High School classmates build her a homecoming float and her best friend starts an underground relationship counseling empire from the school bathroom.

However, when Nicole Porter goes missing, Ally learns quickly that sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut and your advice to yourself. But can Ally keep her mouth shut long enough to figure out where Jet Michael’s girlfriend really is? And can she keep her mouth far enough away from the moist lips of her prime suspect: Luke Porter, the brother of the missing girl?

My previous writing credits include newspaper and newsletter articles, media releases, press kits, and advertisements for universities and non-profit organizations. I have a B.S. in Journalism, a M.S. in Public Relation’s, and currently work as a young adult program planner in a library and teach creative writing classes.

I would be happy to send sample chapters or the entire manuscript upon request. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


Emily Marshall

Now, it's probably not the greatest query in the world, but it did help land agent requests. It has several things that do the trick: it's too the point; gives all relevant info--such as word count, genre, title, etc; reads similar to the back cover copy without giving away the entire story; gets across the tone of the novel itself; and tells briefly my writing credentials.

Also, depending on the agent, I always try to customize it letting them know why I'm querying them specifically.

--Emily, Miss Querylicious


DeenaML said...

You are GREAT at writing punchy blurbs!

amuse me said...

I really like how you ask questions in the middle paragraph. That caught my attention. :) M

Kate Fall said...

That's a great letter, Emily. I have trouble with communicating the tone of the novel in the blurb, and that really is important. Just focusing on it is helping me. Thanks a lot for sharing this!

Christina Farley said...

This is a great query. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa Schroeder said...

Great query letter - I want to read the book!