Questions tagged [queries]

This tag should be used for questions about query letters, which are short and formal letters that writers send for example to publishing houses to propose an idea for a literary work.

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1answer
28 views

Should Person Write Query Letter and Synopsis in Chronological Order Even Though Story is Told in Pieces

I am attempting to write my first novel, a historical fiction. To help focus my story, I wrote the Query Letter and Synopsis in chronological order. However, the story is a narration by an old lady ...
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2answers
112 views

Does Blind Querying Literary Agents Actually Work? Is That How Authors Find Agents?

I have been BLIND QUERYING agents for nearly three years to no avail, and I am wondering if this approach is a realistic one. I have used countless templates in crafting my query letter and all my ...
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4answers
2k views

Can you pitch an outline?

Here's my question: can you pitch an outline of a novel to an agent? I.e. you have two to three chapters complete to a high standard and at full outline of the rest. Would any agents agree to ...
6
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1answer
118 views

Should one invest in a professional editor before querying?

Let's say you have completed a novel. Since you're not totally naive, you have also complete a few drafts, where with "few" I mean at least more than two. You are at a point that your book seems ...
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1answer
58 views

Is it acceptable to include articles written for assignments in one's portfolio?

Background: I'm coming from science and will start trying my luck at science journalism. I already have clips from unpaid work on online media and my own blog posts. However, a few articles that I'...
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2answers
115 views

Multiple Books in a Single Query

I recently decided to make a long delayed return to a genre where I had early publishing success, upper-level picture books. Given that I now have school-aged children, I have a number of stories ...
4
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3answers
325 views

Ensemble cast novel - pitch and synopsis

My mystery novel features an ensemble cast of seven characters. Since I can't talk about all of them in the short span of the query letter, I've decided to focus on the antagonist. He's the main ...
4
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1answer
84 views

Forum to Get Feedback on Queries

I'm a big fan of query letters, and have had great success getting reads with them in the past. But it's been over a decade since I've queried any fiction, and I'm not sure I still have the magic ...
5
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3answers
131 views

What is the “Proposal” Part of a Query Letter?

I'm trying to follow query guidelines that include a query letter, proposal, outline, author bio, and sample chapters. What is the 'proposal' part of the query letter? I have not been able to find an ...
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3answers
226 views

Can I retell a popular manga series as a novel and query it to an agent?

I’m working on my first draft of a retelling of a popular manga series from the 90s. It has been adapted and redone at least 6-10 times as an Asian drama TV series in many different countries. I’m ...
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1answer
127 views

How can I determine good comparative titles to include in my query letter?

Typically, a writer includes one or two recent titles that are similar in some fashion to the story they are telling, in their query letter. I'd like any advice for finding good comparative titles. ...
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2answers
233 views

Giving a character a name that is based on his storyline [closed]

I'm trying to find an appropriate name for my main character. I want his name to reflect his personality and symbolize certain aspects of his past. For example, for a character who has supernatural ...
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1answer
163 views

What are typical response rates to non-fiction queries?

I've begun sending out queries to agents for my recently completed non-fiction manuscript. A decade ago, I sent out queries frequently, for children's books, directly to publishers. After a while, ...
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2answers
828 views

Tense in a query letter, synopsis, outline

When writing fiction, we generally use past tense for the narration and present tense for dialogue. When you are done with a fiction novel and are ready to query a literary agent/publisher, what ...
7
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2answers
180 views

Are idioms in query letters a bad idea?

I am writing a logline sentence of a query letter for my novel and used the idiom 'cat and mouse' as follows: A military bioweapons collector is forced to engage in a game of ‘cat and mouse’ with ...
5
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2answers
173 views

How to know the quality of query letter critiques?

Having nearly completed the second draft on my 135,000 word novel, I am now seeking critiques of my query letter before I submit them to agents. I did find a forum at AQ Connect - Query Critiques ...
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1answer
150 views

What Genre Is My Book Judging By My Logline?

I have polished my first debut novel as a senior at university, and I have sent about thirty to fifty query letters to mostly literary agents in New York, and some in my home state in Florida. I ...
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0answers
41 views

How can I get reader profiles? [closed]

How can I get a reader profile for a publishing category i.e. criminal justice, social justice?
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2answers
132 views

If I have a cover for my novel, when should I let the publisher/agent know?

I've run into an issue with illustrations and cover designs. I have a member of my family who designs covers to the novels I'm writing, and a friend in Alaska that I'd like to have illustrate a ...
4
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2answers
78 views

What to do when my preview exceeds the requested submission length?

One of the agents I intend to query to requests the first fifty pages be attached to the query email. When I formatted the first four chapters and prologue into submission format, it reached 52 pages. ...
4
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4answers
243 views

Should my query lead with the detective, or with the crime?

In a lot of detective or mystery novels, the detective is the POV character and the protagonist, but the initial hook has little to do with him. Some crime has been committed, and the detective is ...
3
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1answer
36 views

What is the Normal Process for Gathering Permissions for Quotation Collections

I am contemplating gathering a collection of quotations from a single writer, similar to The Quotable [C.S.] Lewis by Wayne Martindale [Tyndale]. Most of the writers works remain under copyright, ...
19
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4answers
582 views

Are agents too busy for new clients? What should I do next?

Most publishers insist that first-time writers approach via a literary agent. However, all the literary agents I have contacted claim to be too busy to take on new clients, as they receive hundreds or ...
5
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3answers
419 views

How to summarize prolonged plot

I'm trying to write a summary of my book's plot for a query letter to literary agents, but my plot is extremely hard to summarize. The reason is that the plot is fast-paced, erratic, and constantly ...
4
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3answers
599 views

What is a log line, and why are they bad?

The question is as per the title. I read about log lines on Query shark. Now I know what Wikipedia says about them, but I'm still not sure what they are, and why are they bad for writers / queries?
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2answers
801 views

Querying for a setting-heavy speculative fiction novel

I'm an attentive follower of Janet Reid's Query Shark, and I've learned a lot. But Reid doesn't represent speculative fiction, which seems to present wrinkles of its own. Particularly, Query Shark ...
11
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2answers
574 views

Waiting for response to full MS

About three months ago, an agent that I had queried responded with a request for the full manuscript of the novel that I had written to her about. It's now been nearly three months, and I haven't ...
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5answers
50k views

Where can I find sales numbers for books?

I'm a writer, working on a non-fiction book proposal. Finding public, free sales numbers for comparable titles is nearly impossible. BookScan is a subscriber service run by Nielsen. "Above the ...
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2answers
354 views

How do you write a fiction or non-fiction query letter to an editor?

What do you put in the letter? What if you have no experience, or only very limited experience. Should you write about yourself in the third or first person when explaining your experience?