Argh. I’ve received five queries today, three of which were short on any detail about the book and long on…well…pages. In one case, I received the first three chapters…all embedded in the email. The other two included their foreword and a chapter, also embedded in the email.
If I want to find out what the stories are about, I have to read the included pages. Not gonna happen. That’s why God invented query letters. These are one-page glories that tell us what we need to know in order to formulate a decision as to whether it fits in with our lineup. And what we’d like to see is this:
1. Logline (optional) / genre/ word count
2. Pitch: What does the protagonist want? What’s keeping him from getting it? What choice/decision does he face? What terrible thing will happen if he chooses A; what terrible thing will happen if he doesn’t.
3. Bio: A smattering about you
• Why you wrote the book
• Book’s unique qualities
• Connects with a specific audience
• Future books, plans for career
If all you do is send pages thinking we’ll read it, then you’re in for a wee bit of a surprise. Don’t be surprised…be armed and dangerous!