I wish there were a Query Shark for non-fiction queries. It would be very helpful to me and I'm certain, others. There may be such a site (s) but I've looked all over both your sites and can't find a link anywhere. Could you help me?
I don't know of a site that critiques non-fiction like QueryShark. And if I thought it was a good idea to have one, I'd have done it.
The main reason I don't? Platform. Non-fiction queries are very much about platform. There's no way to redact that information from a query and have it make sense. "I'm well known" doesn't cut the mustard unless you know who the person actually is. You'd be surprised how many people I've never heard of who describe themselves as well known.
And while QueryShark may gnaw on you till you bleed, I try not to personalize it. The lessons of QueryShark are ones (I hope) that also apply to other writers. Platform is completely individual. A book about Mayberry RFD written by Ron Howard is a far different project than a book about Mayberry RFD written by a fan.
Second reason? Market. Non-fiction is less about writing and more about market. "There's no market for your book about being abused" isn't something I ever want to say to someone even though it's true.
I've tried to cover some questions about non-fiction on this blog (there's a blog post category called Non-fiction if you want to take a look) but that's the best I've been able to do.
If you've got general questions about non-fiction, send me an email with the subject line: FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE QUESTION EMPORIUM and I'll do my best to answer.
If anyone has other ideas, please fire away in the comment column.