Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Query Letters

So, I finally finished editing my manuscript and it's in the in-boxes of my fabulous writing group ladies. By the way, if you are a writer and you don't have a writing group, let me urge you to run out and get one as soon as possible. I don't know what I would do without mine. They are such a source of strength, encouragement and laughs.

So, now the time has finally come to start researching literary agents. Yippee! I started by looking at the Agent Query web site, typed in "women's fiction" in the search bar and then that gave me a whole database of agents who are accepting submissions for women's fiction. Woo hoo! I think I have spent about two hours looking at this stuff and so far I've made it through three agents' web sites. One agent had a really helpful blog with "must read" posts about writing query letters, submitting, etc. I found it really helpful. Here it is if you're interested.

So, the first thing I need to do is write a query letter. All agents pretty much require that you send them that first. And then they ask to see your manuscript if they like your query. Here is the definition of a query letter from the afforementioned Book Ends Literary Agency's blog:

Query: A one-page letter sent to agents or editors in an attempt to attain representation. A query letter should include all of the author’s contact information—name, address, phone, email, and Web site—as well as the title of the book, genre, author bio if applicable, and a short, enticing blurb of the book. A query letter is your introduction and sometimes only contact with an agent and should not be taken lightly.

Basically, a query is your one-page pitch that will entice a literary agent to want to see more of your manuscript. It should read like the blurb on the back of a paperback book.

SO, this week I'm going to write a query letter. And make a list of agents that I want to send said query letter to. There is even this cool little query letter tracking device that you can use to track all of queries! Can't wait to start filling this baby in!

Anybody out there have any tips on finding an agent? I'd love to hear them! Right now it feels a little needle-in-a-haystacky trying to find the right person to send to.

I'd love to spend all morning on the internet reading up on literary agents, but, alas, we are out of milk. Gotta run!


Christine said...

So AWESOME Elizabeth!!!

Christi Crawford said...

Amazing! So proud of you!!

Amy Smith said...

Great, Elizabeth! Good for you! The Reston community center has a writer's group and in the catalog it says that it can help with publishing, finding an agent, etc. I joined the group a few years ago, but found that the group was more like a book club where you went around the room and made comments about people's writing. I was not yet ready to share my writing so it wasn't a good fit. Plus, I didn't know any of the people and felt uneasy about giving my comments. I think it's under a new moderator and I personally may like to sign up again. I have something written now and am ready for feedback.