Aug 11, 2010

For all our writing friends: Query Letter Don'ts

Have you been participating in Writeoncon?
WriteOnCon is an online writer's conference for kidlit writers. 
It has been amazing!
We are really enjoying the conference and learning a lot.
If your having a problem getting on writeoncon.
Try this: and please spread the word!

The line up of agents and authors has been super inspiring. 
We can't wait to put pen to paper and get to writing! 

Query Letter Do's & Don't's video by Kate Schafer Testerman who founded Kit Literary

Even though she doesn't represent picture books her query tips are a must for every writer.

Here's some quick notes I took while listening to the video.

Querying Don'ts

Don't let anyone else send your query letter, including manager, business partner or even a literary reference.

Don't write from the view of your characters. Your characters are not seeking an agent you are.

Don't say your novel is going to change the world or be the next best seller. Use it to tell your story.

Don't waste time telling about all the kids you read it to that think it's the best book they've ever heard.
The kids aren't critics or editors.

Don't waste time in the query letter the lesson she'll learn from the book. Readers don't want to be taught they want to be entertained.

Follow agents instructions.

Personalize each query, know your agent and be able to say why you are contacting them, reference a current client or mention a recent blog post or note on twitter.

Don't create a new category or genre for your novel. Don't refer to it as a fiction book. This works: Magical realism, urban fantasy, chiclit, science fiction, and comedy. But not all together.

Know where you would want your book shelved in the book store and use that catagory.

As you move past the book describing the query onto the bio.
Don't include gardener etc unless that's what your book is about.
Don't brag about any writing experience you don't have

Include any classes, workshops taken.

Don't stress out about the query letter. If manuscript is strong enough someone somewhere will love it!

Include name and books title in the body of query.

Posted by: Carol Lawrence


Nicki said...

Thanks for stopping by my site (I replied to your comment there). Following you back here and on Twitter as well. I am clueless about Twitter so I can't promise much from me there but maybe I will get the hang of it! I am looking forward to checking out your other blog as well!

Hollywood Glamorous said...

Thanks for visiting, I've returned the following favor. I'm a little nervous about the Thirty Days of Truth but want to do it for myself. Thanks for your kindness.