More on Query Letters

These query letters are driving me nuts. For each completed book, I have now written three query letters: one as formal, one as casual, and one “specialized.”

It’s driving me nuts because after four years of studying the art of query, I still don’t have a clue what an editor wants. I’ve gone to “how to write a query” blogs that exist only to critique/improve readers’ query letters. So I write one that would (possibly) pass all her critiques. Then I get my Writer’s Market book out, read the first article, and slap my forehead: Apparently Editors Want More Info, Less Story. Oh.

*Adjusts glasses* Yes, sir or madam, I am currently unpublished, I think my work is very good, I’ve gone to college for this kind of stuff, and I work really, really well with others. I promote corporate synergy… oh wait, that’s my resume.

What to do? A query that smacks the publisher/agent in the face with an instant delving of story? A query that begins with, “It Gave Me a Name is my 93k finished paranormal fantasy novel set in St. Louis and focusing on Soren, my ghost-haunting, reluctant protagonist. He hates people sometimes. It’s not based on anyone I know in real life.”

No. I don’t know. I’ve sent this type of query out several times (read: over 50), and haven’t got a bite. I’ve learned a lot in the past year, but I don’t think it’s enough.

I’ll try for Zam! Pow! and hope the tight prose is tight enough, the information succinct enough, and the single-sentence explanation at the end should be, specifically, at the end. Oi. ~x

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