Yesterday I started working on my Query Letter for Look to the Sky. I was supposed to start it sooner, but I was scared. Really scared. I’m still a little scared. There is something about the Query Letter that makes this whole writing thing even more of a reality. It was like this when I first finished Look to the Sky, and again when I went through the first couple of rounds of revision. Every time I take a new step on this path to being a published author, I have that same “you are inadequate” fear resurface.
I thought I would go through a little bit of my process. It started with agents. I looked at all the books that I love, those books that live within my genre or close to it and found out who their agents were. A quick google search gave me all the information that I needed to move forward. I’m still in the process of looking for more agents to submit to. Right now, I have five. I’m going to try to send it out to five at a time.
After I had my list of agents in hand, I knew I now needed to figure out how to write a Query Letter. This was the intimidating part. Even though it’s been about six months since I finished my last revision of Look to the Sky, I still treat that novel like my child. I was trying to capture the essence of 77,000 words in one tiny letter. My first research stop was Writer’s Digest where I read examples through their “Successful Queries” series. They outline queries that got an agent and the agent actually talks about why they chose to pick up the author. I’m definitely the type of person to learn from both the mistakes and the successes of others, so this was really helpful as I tried to think about organization and what to keep.
Then I read a ton of articles. I tried to identify the repeated elements in each article I found. Here are a few that stuck out to me as useful:
- The Complete Guide to Query Letters That Get Manuscript Requests
- How to Write a Query Letter That Gets You an Agent
- How to Write the Perfect Query Letter
Several of the agent’s sites that I visited also had their own rules about Query Letters. It’s a little bit overwhelming and exhausting. It’s hard to juggle trying to get published with Look to the Sky and write my new novel. So, here is my one sentence synopsis. It took many many revisions to get to this point, and I’m still taking advice, so feel free to comment how you might make it better.
When Georgia Daily is called from her New York City dream life back to the small town of Stella Hollow for her grandfather’s funeral, she never suspects that what Papa Irvey left for her in his will has the power to bring back the visions that haunted her childhood, forcing her to come to terms with her past while making decisions about her future. When Georgia arrives back in Stella Hollow, all of the memories of growing up come back and what she intends to be a quick trip turns into a chance to change.
Okay, so technically it’s two sentences, but the first one is the story essence one. Today is revision day for the entire letter, then it’s time to do some querying. Wish me luck.