Friday, January 29, 2010

The Query: Sell Your Story Part 2

As most of you pointed out in the comments of Part 1, creating a query is hard work. Thank goodness for cyber space.

Here are some links for great places to learn the ins and outs of query writing.

Elana has an awesome exercise she employs when writing queries.

Author Nancy Parra wrote a four-part series on writing queries.

Agent Janet Reid hosts Query Shark, a raw, brutal place for learning how to write an awesome query.

There are tons of other places full of information on writing a great query. Agent blogs are incredible founts of information.

When did you first realize you had to write a query before you could submit a manuscript? What's your favorite site for gleaning query information?

25 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

I did like you do-- I search for links and read their examples. I still am not totally happy with what I've come up with but it did work abit. I also posted mine and had writer friends help out and that part was great!

Jessica said...

That was a good idea that you did, Terri. I really liked your query too.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I'm saving this post, Jessica! Thanks for all the links!

Jessica said...

I wanted to put more, Kristen. There's SO much info. I hope you find some helpful info with them. :-)

Irritable Mother said...

You're back. Does that mean the cold is gone? Cuz I'm sneezing and my throat is a little sore. Did you cyber-send it up here???

Sarah Forgrave said...

I love the Guide to Literary Agents blog (Sorry, I can't find my link right now). They post actual queries that succeeded and then include agent comments on why the query initially caught their attention.

Jessica said...

Karen, I wish it was gone. :-( I'm going to the doctor's today, me and the little guys. We all have fevers. Bleck. I hope I didn't spread anything your way! :-)

Sarah, that sounds like a really great site! I know Charlotte Dillon has a place on her RWC website that does almost the same thing. It's pretty helpful.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Hope you're feeling better, Jessica!!

I mostly go by chapters in writing books for help with this, though I know I'm far from "getting" how to write one. I'll have to check out those links next time I'm working on one. Thanks for sharing!

Jody Hedlund said...

Great links, Jessica! I'm not sure that I remember the links that I used. As Rachelle said in her post today, it takes time to read through blogs and get ourselves to the point where we're market savvy. And I think that if we read agent/author blogs, that eventually we get to the point where we're up to par on how to be professional.

Tamika: said...

Okay, I'm petrified of the query stage. But thanks to Elana's post a few days ago she eased my tension. Her query e-book is on my TBR list,as soon as payday comes I'm snagging it!

Linda Kage said...

Thanks for the link. I will most definitely need them.

Maria I. Morgan said...

Thanks for the great query sites!! I cheated a bit when I sent my first query (it was for a magazine article, not a book). My sis-in-law is a published author and she gave me some amazing tips! Thanks to her advice, that first article was published by the first magazine I sent it to!! Hurray for Stephanie!! Have a great weekend, Jessica!

Jeanette Levellie said...

When I started down this "getting published" path I was so dumb. I asked my friend Clella Camp how to get started. She gave me Terry Whalin's book on writing proposals, directed me to Mike Hyatt's website, and told me to attend a conference.

I've also learned a ton on blogs like yours and Jody Hedlund's.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I learned thru the Harlequin website and then did some digging at Charlotte Dillon's website, too.
Thanks for the links! Could always stand to get better at them. :)

Elana Johnson said...

Hey, thanks for the linkage! I first learned I had to write a query when I finished writing my first book and googled "how to publish a book."

Can you say "Holy green"? Yeah, I had no idea. It took me a year to figure things out. And even then, I'm still learning.

Faith said...

For good or for bad, I haven't had to write a query yet... but I learned everything I need to know (I think) from Holly Lisle's 'How to Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writers'. She provided a lesson just on queries and then gave us copies of the queries she used to sell her own books at the beginning of her career -- some that sold, and some that didn't, and explained why.

It's been invaluable so far, and while I haven't managed to really get the hang of the technique myself yet (not enough practice!), I figure it's a skill that will develop over time and with repeated study!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

Elana visited my blog the other day, so I returned the favor. I saw that post. Awesome!

Blessings,
Susan :)

anita said...

As I was learning to write, I read tons of "how to get published" books and already knew the steps to contacting agents and seeking representation by the time I finished my first MS.

But as to writing a GOOD query, that just came with trial and error until I finally nailed it. Fortunately, that first MS wasn't up to par, so I'm glad my horrible queries didn't garner any interest in the beginning. Heh...

Tabitha Bird said...

Hey Jess, great post. I know... queries!!! AHHH who knew?!

My fav site is http://guidetoliteraryagents.blogspot,com/

very good info. Lots of guidance on writing queries and who is after them.

Gotta love that!

Jessie Oliveros said...

Thanks for the links! I'll have to come back to this.

Angie Muresan said...

Thank you, Jessica. I will check these out. I hope your sweet boys and you feel better this morning.

Nancy said...

Those lincs look good. How do you save them? I just write the date of your blog and then I'd have to go to your archives when I needed it. Is there a better way?

Sorry, I'm so green on the internet. I can't remember when I found out I needed to query for non-fiction. It seems I always knew it.

Linda Glaz said...

Irritable mother, why do you think they call it a computer virus???Achoo!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Thanks for linking to my blog. :) I hope it helps.

Take care of yourself and get well soon!

Deb Shucka said...

Thanks for the great links. My favorite site is Chuck Sambuchino's blog, Guide to Literary Agents.