04-25-2008 08:15 AM
Author of Rhuddlan
04-28-2008 02:17 PM
Thank you!!!!! What a great tip! I've heard about "personalizing" your query letters but I like your advice about doing more than just picking someone specific and sticking their name in the opening. It makes a lot of sense.How long has your book been out? Are you planning another one?
How long has your book been out? Are you planning another one?
My book has been out about 5-6 weeks now. I have two in the planning stages right now.
04-28-2008 02:38 PM
That's how I found my agent, Regina Ryan. I think what caught my eye was information she had written on that page, specifically "I am particularly interested in books that are helpful and might even change the world for the better" as that fit my book to a T. So, I told her that and then explained why.
If, for example, I was trying to sell a mystery book, I might look through all the agents and find ones that represent authors that I feel write similar to mine. This is a VERY rough sketch of what you can do.
"Dear Ms. Agent,
My name is Darcy Andries and I'm a mystery writer. I noticed that you tend to represent authors who write mysteries with a strong romance feel to them such as Janet Evanovich and J.D. Robb. My manuscript LOVE AND MURDER IN MANCHESTER falls in that vein of books.
I would then explain why I feel that way while at the same time summarizing the book.
Hope that helps,
05-03-2008 01:38 PM
05-03-2008 01:38 PM
05-03-2008 01:42 PM
05-04-2008 10:57 AM - edited 05-04-2008 10:58 AM
Clippership14 wrote: I've heard some people are favorably inclined towards including market strategy in their queries, and others are not. I agree with you that doing it towards a small press might be the best as you will have to do your marketing if they publish you (budgets and all being a factor). I suppose it goes back to the whole researching your target and complyingn with their guidelines.
Message Edited by Irishbookish on 05-04-2008 03:58 PM
Author of Rhuddlan
06-12-2008 11:42 PM
06-13-2008 04:57 AM
Author of Rhuddlan
06-26-2008 03:57 PM
A synopsis provides key information about your novel including the main characters, plot, conflict and essential turning points. The synopsis should be written in the same order as the novel and contain the ending. The synopsis should also be written in the style of the manuscript-a witty, fast-paced novel requires a witty, fast-paced synopsis.
There is no specific rule about length for a synopsis although most editors prefer the shorter the better. By short, they're looking for 1-2 pages single spaced or 5-6 pages double spaced. However, some books such as historical novels or thrillers are too complicated or long to communicate in such a short document. For these longer works type one page per 25 pages of manuscript.
- Start strong. The first sentence should contain a strong lead and the first paragraphs should provide a hook and introduce the main plot, key conflict, and characters. Example: Alicia Browning, a thirty-year-old supermodel with a face and body that has graced magazines and runways for a decade is found dead in the bathtub of her Manhattan flat. Even in death, her perfect features suggest to investigators that her demise is a tragic accident.
- Give brief biographical information about the main characters, such as, "Helen Bailey, the protagonist, a 32 year-old librarian who has given up on love when she finds a puppy on the steps of the library."
- Write in present tense.
- Write in third person.
- Rely on vivid verbs and specific nouns, not modifiers to summarize the novel.
- Write in logical, organized paragraphs that explore one topic.
- Use transitions between scenes and ideas.
- Weave characterization into the action.
- Keep out opinion words and phrases (this moment, which will keep every reader glued to the page, our plucky heroine plunges into the dark alley)-this is summary not book jacket blurb.
- Include each plot point.
- Include characters' motivations.
- Avoid using dialogue unless its essential to reveal character or plot provide a dramatic moment. If included, keep it brief.
- Do not justify the right margin.
- Use a slug at top left of pages (except first page)
Example: Morrell/DRESSED TO KILL/synopsis
- Use 1" margins on all sides.
- Type the page number on top right of pages after 1.
- On the first page type your contact information at the top left, single spaced. At the top left margin type the genre type, word length and Synopsis, also single-spaced. Drop down about 1/3 page and type the title in all caps. Drop down 4 lines and begin the opening paragraph.
- Type a character's name in all caps the first time he or she is introduced.
©Jessica Page Morrell
06-26-2008 04:54 PM - edited 06-26-2008 04:55 PM
To get over this hurdle, you basically have two options. First, you can look for a literary agent who will represent you. The literary agent represents your work when dealing with editors and only sends it to editors she knows. Therefore, the work is now solicited.
Second, you can query the publisher. Just send them a one-page letter (the query) asking if you can submit the entire ms or at least a sample for review. If they like your query and are intrigued by the book's concept, they will request sample chapters or perhaps the entire thing. Since they have just requested some writing, the work is now solicited.
So there you are for the agent squeamish. Of course you should still check publisher guidelines and do your research but the doors might not be as locked as hitherto supposed.
Message Edited by Clippership14 on 06-26-2008 02:55 PM
12-04-2008 10:32 AM
I wanted to thank you for all of this information! I learned a lot just by reading yours and others posts. I had one question, and please dont laugh as I am new to this getting published thing. What is a sample chapter?
Also the link you posted for the dystel agency was really helpful. I haven't queried any agent yet, but thier website said that they read everything that is sent to them. I really liked that fact, because at least they will give you a chance.
P.S.I would appreciate any advice from published authors. Also from non-published authors who have tried to query agencys or publishers, advice would be great there too.