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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3
votes
2answers
90 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
votes
3answers
257 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
votes
1answer
81 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
votes
3answers
90 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
203 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
111 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. ...
3
votes
2answers
229 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
162 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, ...
0
votes
2answers
641 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
votes
2answers
179 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
votes
2answers
156 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
138 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 ...
1
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0answers
40 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?
3
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2answers
122 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
votes
2answers
73 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
votes
4answers
231 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
votes
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
votes
4answers
564 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
votes
3answers
400 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
votes
3answers
565 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?
9
votes
2answers
750 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
votes
2answers
573 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
39k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
332 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?