No, Gods forbid, I’m not anywhere near the stage of query writing yet, but since I was recently asked for some help in terms of query writing, let me snowball you with a bunch of linky-awesomeness. Whether you’re at the point of writing a query yet or not, definitely check out the following:
How to find a Literary Agent – unfortunately they don’t fall from the sky….why ever does this remind me of that scene in Dogma “Prophets don’t just fall from the sky!” Hmmm, great movie 😀
Your Rights as an Author – Never, and I repeat NEVER fall for agencies asking you for reading fees or editing fees in advance et cetera…
Also, definitely check out before querying:
Miss Snark – dearly departed, but so full of wisdom 🙂
Love Nathan Bransford’s simplified query formula btw:
Dear [Agent name],
I chose to submit to you because of your wonderful taste in [genre], and because you [personalized tidbit about agent].
[protagonist name] is a [description of protagonist] living in [setting]. But when [complicating incident], [protagonist name] must [protagonist’s quest] and [verb] [villain] in order to [protagonist’s goal].
[title] is a [word count] work of [genre]. I am the author of [author’s credits (optional)], and this is my first novel.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
And no, this is NOT how you should write your query, it’s a strictly simplified formula. Nonetheless, if you can’t fill this out in less than a minute your novel might need some serious work.
How to list your publishing credits – if you have any. If you don’t, then that’s fine, because publishing credits alone don’t get your agent hooked, let alone your book sold.
How To Respond to a Request for a Partial Yes, you’ve written a great query and perked an agent’s interest. They’ve asked you for a partial. Don’t ruin it by sending off your partial without letting the agent know what query the partial is referring to…
How to Format your Manuscript (just a friendly reminder: the next person who makes me get all hysterical about using Times New Roman or Courier New gets kicked 😉 )
Also, if you want to get a really cool critique for your query letter, submit your bestest, most-polished baby to Query Shark and trust Janet Reid to tell you what’s what with that 😉 In my opinion a great idea if you’d like to get some professional feedback, but also really informative (and entertaining) to read since the site gives you some helpful tips and tricks as you go.
I’m pretty sure that most of you are very well aware that all those links are also in my sidebar to the right, but still I thought I’d emphasize some of them, especially Nathan Bransford’s great How To posts. There are a lot of agents out there who are ready and willing to give some great advice!
One thing that makes me roll my eyes whenever I hear it is that too many writers out there think they can just query anyone and that querying is a thing quickly done without much if any research. Sorry, but you’re wrong about that guys and all you’ll be most likely to accomplish is get rejection after rejection, because you haven’t even googled the agency’s submission guidelines. Not a good idea 😉 Not that anyone who frequents the blogosphere would do that, but…ya know 😉
Anyway, there’s probably much more to say and many more people to link to in terms of queries, agents and publishing, but the above mentioned ones are just a few helpful links that I really like myself. Another thing I’d definitely recommend is frequenting at least a few agents’ blogs, because they often have awesome advice about the do’s and don’t’s of querying and the publishing world. You find a bunch of awesome ones under “Agents’ Blogs” in my sidebar too 🙂
Happy querying everyone 😀