Over the past few weeks I have been bemoaning the not-so-fun aspects of finishing a manuscript. When you write ‘the end’ you are elated. What a sense of accomplishment! And then you remember that you have to edit (yuck), write a synopsis (double yuck) and then finish off the trifecta of yuckyness by composing a query letter.
For those of you who are new to the publishing world, a query letter is a one page cover letter you write and send out to agents and editors to plug your work. It is similar to the back flap of the books you pick up in the store (or the blurbs you read online). And it can be a very painful process.
After all, how can you take your amazing, awe-inspiring, incredible masterpiece and explain it in two paragraphs! I know…it is very hard. But it also is necessary. Agents and editors cannot read hundreds of pages of EACH author that comes across their desk. But they can pick and choose who they want to read by the query letter. Tantalize them to ask for more. Tell them about your characters and give them the general ‘vibe’ of your book through the letter. I know…it is VERY hard.
So I am just completing version four of the query (you will never send out version one) and am gearing up to send it out to a few select agents. Each letter changes slightly depending on who you send to and your relationship with them. Wish me luck!