Friday, December 16, 2011

The Query Query

I am sure I am not alone in this...or maybe I am, and if so please don't tell me...but I am terrified of the "query letter'. 

I'm a writer.  That's what I do.  I write.  Ask me to write anything and I gladly will.  But the mere thought of writing a query letter to a literary agent terrifies me. 

Maybe its because I have read too many blogs, etc that mention that a bad letter can actually overshadow a good manuscript and cause it to NOT get picked up.  Eeeeek!  That places an awful lot of pressure on that one little letter.

The problem is, its time I write one.  And although I know there are people, such as my Critique Group and classmates, who often read my manuscripts and provide feedback, I do not know of anyone who would be able to provide such guidance on a query letter.

I have read countless postings on the internet, books and spoken to people about what a query letter is supposed to be.  I have drafted up query letters.  I have listened to podcasts and lectures that include info on "how to write a query letter".  But that does not take away the fact that my sole wish would be that SOMEONE would offer to help me develop a GOOD query letter. 

Enough ranting.  But in this season of making wish lists of what we really want out of life...I guess this is mine.  At least at this moment.  :)


  1. I hear you, Marcie! I will soon be drafting and sending query letters to agents as well, and I wish it was an easier process to know if I'm saying "the right thing"...

    And now I'm going to draft a question for the Children's Book Hub bonus Q&A session on January 12th, asking about query letters and the care and feeding thereof.

  2. I'm with ya! I need to do this soon and to be honest it is a lot easier to just write another manuscript!

  3. Ugh!! I feel you. I thought it was easy, at first. And then I realized that there was a good posibility that I was getting countless rejection letters based purely on my might-be CRAP query letters.

    Ithink it's just something you have to do. Write it (according to all the advice you've read)and hope for the best! You're sure to do it superbly!

    Good luck!

  4. Well put! Maybe we should all start a Query Letter Facebook page!

  5. Ditto, and the query that you send about said manuscript when said manuscript is not quite finished...What if you can't produce it if someone actually likes your query...?

  6. I'm thinking of creating a "skeleton" query and proposal , so all I need to do it "fill in the blanks" to individualize it. Now I just need the time. Christmas break, perhaps?

  7. Terry - I've heard a lot of people say don't query until your manuscript is finished and polished. If someone expresses interest, you don't want to have to say "well, it isn't finished yet..." That's likely to turn them off. Just a word of warning.

  8. Queries are the worst - no doubt. There is no joy in writing them. I would ask your critique group to read them and provide input. We do that all the time in my CGs. It's part of the process (and an important one at that!)

  9. Hey Marcie,
    Best of luck to you! After reading your post, i saw this on galleycat:
    That got me curious, so i went on Fivrr and queried "query letter," and found some interesting query-related $5 services ... thought you might want to check it out (for fun or other thingeeez) :)
    See you in Jan!

  10. Queries are scary for sure! It's so hard knowing that what one agent may like, another will turn away from. Just takes one to like it goal for 2012!

    Now following you...