10 Ways To Personalize Your Query to Agents

Literary Agent Carly Watters gives us information about personalizing query letters. Thank you so much for your help and support Carly!

 

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Carly Watters, Literary Agent Blog

Writers hear that they’re supposed to personalize their queries–but “how personal, exactly?” is the most common question. The best queries show that they have engaged with us before (on Twitter, read an interview, or a blog post of ours) and have done their research. It’s easier than you think to show that personal touch.

Below are TEN great query intro’s you can model yours after:

“You’ve mentioned on your blog an interest in XX and so BOOK TITLE HERE might be of special interest to you.”

“After reading (and loving) CLIENT BOOK TITLE HERE, I am submitting BOOK TITLE HERE for your review.”

“I noticed on Manuscript Wishlist you are looking for XX and XX so I’m submitting BOOK TITLE HERE.”

“I am seeking representation for my novel, BOOK TITLE HERE, a work of XX complete at XX-words. For readers of XX and CLIENT BOOK TITLE HERE.”

“I enjoyed your interview…

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Editing Tip #132 – The Dreaded Synopsis

The book blurb already scared me. I felt like standing in front of a wooden 200-year-old bridge over some exotic canyon, deep deep down…
Now I’m standing in front of the Himalaya… the synopsis. Thank God there are experienced writers being able to help us. Here a blog post, written by M. J. Moores, which might help, not only me, but many of us! Thank you for this great post!

6 Sentence Synopsis

 

 

 

While it’s nice to think that once you’ve written and edited your magnus-opus, your editing work is done … think again.

Time to Write Your Synopsis

If an agent or publisher doesn’t get a “taste” for your writing in the query letter (which calls for a paragraph summary of your entire book and often a 1-pager to attach) or “hooked” on your story, then you’ve lost a great opportunity to have them ask for your coveted manuscript.

Now, I must be upfront with you about this: I am NOT a master of editing Synopses.

In fact, I still struggle with writing my own but I have a good perspective for books I’ve edited for my clients. I can see when they’re adding too much back story, if their hook actually grabs readers, and if they’ve left out anything important (because they don’t want to spoil the story – trust…

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Writing a Query Letter #wwwblogs #writinganovel

Query letters. Am I the only one who is scared of them and really wants to do it RIGHT? Not only ‘right’ but ‘RIGHT’… I think this is such an important blog post who might give me more than a hint! Thank you Alison for sharing this!

Alison Williams Writing

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While it’s true that the world of publishing is changing, and that many authors are happy to self-publish, some writers still wish to find an agent, and so will need to introduce themselves with a query letter.

What’s important

It’s absolutely vital to remember that this letter is the first example of your writing that an agent will see, so make it count. These are the key things to remember:

  • Address your letter to a specific agent – avoid Dear Sir/Madam.  Using a name shows that you’ve selected that agent – not just stuck a pin in ‘The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook’
  • Make it clear you’ve done your homework – state why you’re approaching that particular agent (similar authors? Looking for your genre?)
  • Make your book sound interesting
  • State the genre and word length
  • Include any details of your writing history – competitions, publications, experience
  • Keep it formal, keep it…

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