Q/A Wednesday: What’s a Query?
While awaiting final feedback (and not trimming the rest of my novel), I’ve been fine-tuning my query.
There are many websites and resources that speak far more eloquently than I, but in short, a query letter is what you send to an agent or a publisher to entice them into representing or publishing your novel.
They say to keep it under a page.
Let me amend that.
This is the first novel I’ve written a query letter for. This is about the 50th draft, but I’m posting it here as an example anyway. The benefit of reading this blog is you get to read as I share what I’ve learned as I go along. I’ll just have to wait and see if it works:
I would like you to consider representing my 120,000 word fantasy novel, DEMON MARKED. [Polite request. Word count. Genre. Title.] When Lilyan’s so-called demon marks are exposed, she’s forced into exile. Disguised as a pilgrim, Lilyan finds a new home and awakens her birthright, but the call of blood proves stronger than the safety of her new life. [hook/pitch]
Lilyan is pleased with her life as an apprentice church inker, but she hides a dangerous secret. Her so-called demon-marks are an automatic life sentence to her family for aiding-and-abetting (and worse for her). She knows she should run, but stalls, until her inadvertent exposure endangers her family. Accepting exile to keep them safe, she disguises herself as the pilgrim she wishes she were. Lilyan’s search for safety takes her to the very edge of the haunted Murienridge Bluffs… and beyond. [Brief Synopsis. About 3 paragraphs]
[More plot exposed here]
[Hints about the ending, but no details, to entice them!]
Lilyan has a sister to save, in the last place she ever expected to see.
Thank you for your time. [Hmmm, maybe I should let them know to just ask if they want more. Oh, wait, That’s the point of a query, so that seems a bit redundant. Perhaps I’ll just keep it short and sweet.]