September 2, 2009

How to Submit and Query Agents, Part 3

First, Authorial, Agently and Personal Ramblings has a list of Query Dos and Don'ts that provides an excellent segue from Part 2 to Part 3.

So you know what agents you'd like to query. The big question: How do you query?
There's so much advice out there, I don't know where to begin.

Okay, first: be polite.
Second, get the agent's name right.
Third, make sure to include your contact information.
Fourth, include your book's title, genre, and word count.
Without these, you may as well bang your head against a wall.

Then try How to Get An Agent. Robert Gregory Browne gives a breakdown of the "logline". If you have a good logline (or The Sentence, as Holly Lisle calls it), you'll at least get your foot in the door.

Dame Devon from Deadline Dames says, "The most important thing is that it makes your book sound exciting, interesting, engaging. It’s a sales tool, not a dictionary entry." This is so true! I know it may seem obvious, but your job is to make the book sound interesting. Your job is NOT to list plot points. It's like the hook that you might read on the back cover of a book. They give you just enough that you know what kind of book it's going to be, and hopefully, the hook makes you ask enough questions that you want to read the book.

17 Reasons Manuscripts are Rejected is a list of what not to do. It has some pretty good tips.

And then you get to worry about all the other stuff, as listed in: What you can do: Twelve Easy Steps. Yeah, it's a long road. Hope you love what you do!

Dame Jackie of Deadline Dames wrote three articles about submitting to agents. The first is here.

Part 1 of Querying Agents here.
The next part, Querying Agents Part 4, is here.

2 comments:

wildheart90(from HtTS) said...

Wow, Emily. I like your blog. It has a lot of useful information. I have a question for you: Have you actually started the Query process? Or are you working on your Query letter? Have you gotten any bites? I'm interested to know what you are going through right now with your novel and if you think you spent enough time revising it or not.

Emily C. said...

Thanks, I'm glad to hear my blog is helpful! I queried for my last manuscript (a lot). No bites on that one.
For my current project, I'm compiling a list of possibilites (I have about 20 so far). I'm also working on my query letter in between editing sessions. I think it's pretty polished up at this point and may be done.
I think Holly's one-pass is working really well, but I think I'll print it out when I'm done and read through it (maybe out loud) to catch any little things I may have missed.

.i2Style{ font:bold 24px Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif; font-style:normal; color:#ffffff; background:#67b310; border:0px none #ffffff; text-shadow:0px -1px 1px #222222; box-shadow:2px 2px 5px #000000; -moz-box-shadow:2px 2px 5px #000000; -webkit-box-shadow:2px 2px 5px #000000; border-radius:90px 10px 90px 10px; -moz-border-radius:90px 10px 90px 10px; -webkit-border-radius:90px 10px 90px 10px; width:96px; padding:20px 43px; cursor:pointer; margin:0 auto; } .i2Style:active{ cursor:pointer; position:relative; top:2px; }