Why do I query? The only way to break into the sainted "Six Sisters," the six major publishing houses is to have an agent. After hunting through the list of thousands filtering the correct genre, the type of experience, the locations and the authors they represent the list has taken major cuts. Now down to two list the 'super wish list of champions' and the 'eh at least I will be published' list. I sit with a wretched sad start of a letter that is meant to be my foot in the door.
The little articles make it sound simple.
- Purpose for contacting. Holding back the overwhelming urge to beg and plea for representation, I instead have modeled it after what I have seen others do I settled on the..."I am seeking representation for my contemporary mystery, In God We Trust complete at 62,000 words. Enclosed are a synopsis and a sample chapter." Not thrilling but it is professional.
- Prove you have done your research. There is a fine line between kissing up, complementing someone and being snarky. I have to admit I hate this part. Giving complements to someone I know has had huge amounts of success is awkward for me. I got nothing for this. Thinking of skipping it and hoping that the fact that I am querying them says enough.
- Summary of plot, 5-7 sentences. Up until this point I have worried that summarizing the book to those who ask would be like ripping the soul from the book and giving it to a stranger. Trying to put the giant living being of this project into 5-7 magical sentences feels impossible. Having written three different summaries each represent it, but each completely different I am at a loss as to which to go with.
- Credentials. This paragraph reeks! A B.S. in History and Secondary education says nothing to my my ability to write. I am not a journalist. I blog...looked down upon by those in the 'writing community' because it takes no ability, anyone can do it. I haven't even outed my writing ability to those around me till this book was completed. There are no awards no past experience. I sit alone with my finished book. Hoping for a chance.