Writing queries & My latest project!

Hello my friends,

I know it's been a while since my last blog, Memorial Day in fact. June has been a very busy month for me. Not only have I completed another manuscript, but I am now in the process of polishing it up to its brightest shine so that I can start sending out queries to agents.

That makes two books that are ready to send, once I finish the final run-through, that is.

There may be a few who are unsure of how to write a query that an agent will appreciate. Being in that group does not mean you’re a failure. Let’s be honest, writing queries is more difficult than writing a book.

In a book you have three hundred and fifty pages to tell your story. With a query, you have a single paragraph to hook the agent into wanting to read more. I’ve been writing query letters to agents for, well, several years now and have only recently learned the secret, thanks to a course that I’d purchased called Get a Book Deal 101.

Now, technically I can’t divulge what is in the course, but I will tell you that it is well worth the cost. Especially if you are dedicated to getting an agent who will find the best traditional publisher to offer you a contract. Sure, there are online blogs from so called professionals who will tell you what to do and how to write the “perfect query” but those are generic, (I’ve read many of them and they don’t really give you what agents look for).

Agents are picky, they have to be, and they all have their own preferences on what they want to see in a query. The query letter is the only way to grab their attention to differentiate yours from the hundreds they receive each week. So, you have to nail the query. I will tell you this much, though; when you first begin your query letter, give them a hook that does NOT ask a question but will make them want to know more. Here is an example of a query letter for one of my manuscripts that I sent out and received requests for more pages:

Dear (agent’s name),

(personalized to the agent’s wish list found on their website) . . . (the hook) Even as the tragedies of an alcoholic’s refusal to accept his gift is combined with the horrific visions he sees The Shaman’s fate cannot be derailed.

(Here I give a brief, and I mean no more than 100 words, blurb about the story)
            (Then you add a short biography)
THE SHAMAN, the first book in a new series, has been professionally edited by Ayers Literary Services and is ready for your review. The idea for THE SHAMAN came to me after reading BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE a few years ago while researching for a different story I had thought to write. After moving from the Midwest to the Southeast, the charm and mystique of the area supplies me with an unlimited well of story ideas. As a note of interest, one of my independently published novels, BLACK HARVEST, has won the New Apple Book Award for Mystery.

Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.

Kate Porter

By using what I have learned in the course, I have received several replies from agents requesting my complete manuscript for review. Considering it had been the first time that I’d received a positive response from any agent that I’d queried, I was on cloud nine. But, just because they requested the pages, does not mean they are offering to represent me. It’s just the first step in the process. They may read the full book and decide it isn’t for them. But, at least I’ve gotten past that first hurdle. Just because one agent passes, does not mean all agents will.

This is where positive reinforcement comes in and I repeat to myself; SEE IT, BELIEVE IT, ACHIEVE IT!!!

As I mentioned in the beginning of this latest post, I have been pretty busy with putting the final touches on a new project! KATE’S PASSION NEWSLETTER is now up and running. The first issue went out on June 29th and the July issue is set to go out on July 17th.

The July edition of KATE’S PASSION NEWSLETTER, will feature an interview with Rebecca Ayers, founder of  Ayers Editing Services, so don’t miss it! Each month we will interview a new artist; most will be authors of all genres. There will be, however, artists from every medium including local song writers, screenwriters, actors, singers and possibly even local painters and sculptors. You never know who might show up just to say “hello,” and give us the inside scoop of what is going on in the outside world.

Well, I guess that’s enough for now. If you would like to receive KATE’S PASSION NEWSLETTER, visit my website’s CONTACT page and sign up. Or, if you just want to drop a note, comment or suggestion, please feel free to do that as well. If you’ve missed previous blog posts or newsletters, you can catch up on those as well.
It’s time to say so long for now. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter to keep up on all the latest gossip!

Have a great day!

Kate Porter


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