To hold you over till this afternoon, here are the answers to Thursday's pop quiz:
Query Letter Quiz
All the answers are wrong. Which is the least wrong, and why?
1. The best salutation for a query is:
A. Dear Snookums
B. Dear Sir or Madam
A. It's always better to use the agent's name. It's NEVER correct to use B. If you don't know the agent's name, using the name of the agency is acceptable.
Example: Dear FinePrint Literary Management
2. The best way to start a query is a description of the book such as:
A. My fiction novel is set at CrimeBake 2015.
B. My story starts at CrimeBake 2015.
A. This tripped up a lot of you because you've learned "fiction novel" is an abomination. And it is. But at the very least, with "fiction novel" you know it's a novel. "My story" could be fiction, non-fiction or memoir.
3. When writing odd or unusual names which format should you use:
A. Plxydcotrquarl ("Kip" to his friends)
B. Plxydcotrquarl (the final l is silent)
A. Never demonstrate pronunciation in a query letter. I will not be reading it aloud anytime soon.
4. To make sure the agent knows the book is finished write:
A. My book is done
B. My book has been thoroughly edited, freshened, folded, line-dried and edited by the divine Hank Phillipi Ryan herself.
A. You don't need to say your book is done because you better not be querying unless it is. That said, if it is done, don't tell me how you got it that way, no matter how divine your editor is.
5. When given a referral write:
A. Barbara Poelle said you should read this book.
B. Stephen King said you should read this book when I took a workshop from him.
A. Barbara Poelle is an agent. A very slithery one, it's true, but an agent. Thus, her opinion about what's marketable is of higher value than someone who is not. And let's just remember Stephen King hasn't written a query letter in probably 40 years.
6. When comparing your book to others write:
A. It's like Jaws but with whales.
B. It's better than The DaVinciCode, and that sold a lot of copies.
B. Jaws is a movie. DaVinci Code is a book. Comps should be books.
7. To make sure your work is protected include:
A. The US Copyright Office TX number you got when you registered the copyright.
B. © after the title
B. If you register your book with the Copyright office it snarls things up when the publisher tries to register it as a new book when I sell it for oodles of cash. If you just use (c) it's less trouble for us. You don't need to do either of course. In fact you shouldn't.
Did anyone get them all right?
No fair going back to change your answers!