Friday, August 26, 2005

How to send me an electronic query for a novel

1. Subject line should say "Query for TITLE"
TITLE means the title of your book. Yes, I have gotten queries from people who didn't understand that.


2. The salutation should be Dear Janet, Dear Ms. Reid, Dear Snookums; or some variation of that. It should not be To Whom It May Concern, or Dear Agent.

3. The first paragraph should be what your book is about. It helps if you start with the main character's name, then tell me what choices he must make, or why things are going to change for him soon.

There are examples, both good and bad, of how to do this at QueryShark.blogspot.com

4. Include the word count. The novel must be finished before you query.

5. Tell me which ONE category suits your novel. Here are the categories:
Mystery
Thriller
Crime
Romance
Women's fiction
Literary Fiction
Western
Science Fiction
Fantasy

6. Include the first 3-5 pages of the novel in the body of the email.
The first 3-5 pages are not the preface or prologue. They are the first 3-5 pages from chapter 1.

7. Include your contact information

8. Do not attach anything.

9. Do not use any color font other than black. Do not use any background color other than white.

10. For a lot more posts on the subject of queries, read the posts labelled "Query Pitfalls" here on the blog. You can find them by looking at the very bottom of the blog roll on the right side of the blog under "Blog Posts Sorted by Category"

3 comments:

Jack Barrow said...

Am I being a bit dim here? I've read your conditions, looked for other links and ended back on the same page. However, I can't see an address or link to send the query too. I'm guessing that you are still accepting queries because I saw a tweet from you on the subject.

Angie Brooksby said...

Dear Janet,

Will you be accepting queries for commercial non fiction after the Chum Bucket experiment? I see that this post, dating from 2005, does not include this genre.

Do all the above rules fore querying you still apply?

Patrick Sean Lee said...

Can't resist:)
Dear Ms. Agent,
I read your submission things very carefully. I've wrote a book that I think you'll like, and I no Americans will to! It's Young Adult (I think)...