Queries and Synopses and Proposals

Don’t Give Up Until You’ve Queried 80 Agents or More

The other day, a writer friend asked for my advice in dealing with all pesky rejections in the query stage. I asked how many agents she had queried. “Forty,” she said. “Well, then you’re halfway there.” I wasn’t trying to be flippant, but if you are serious about getting published, then don’t even...

Developing the Hook in a Query Letter

Sometimes you only have seconds for your query to catch interest, and a great opening line can do that. We, as authors, try so hard to summarize our entire book, instead of just picking out the one or two elements that make our book unique, that I think we get lost...

The Art of the Query, Humor Style

But something felt off in those early letters. I realized that rather than showing an agent my sense of humor, I was standing there saying the equivalent of “I’m funny.” That’s not funny. My solution? Approach my query letter as a piece of creative writing itself, one that reflected my style while still...

Using Conferences to Your Querying Advantage

Conferences can be great places to learn, but let’s face it, when you’re unagented and have a completed manuscript, your main agenda may not be the workshops. I’ve attended several conferences, both as a pre-published writer and a published one. The truth is, my main goal has remained the same: Networking....

Agent Bob Silverstein On: Query Letter Tips

First, let me tell you about query letters that immediately turn me off: 1. When they are typed on an old typewriter or, worse, handwritten and often illegible. The look of a query letter is important in making a good first impression. Use a computer! Bob's guest column is an...

Agent Dan Lazar On: Query Dos and Don’ts

1. Be specific, but don’t vomit information. Saying “my novel is about a mom going through some life challenges” is vague, and remember: Vague = boring. However, be careful not to stuff your letter with so many details of your plot that it’s confusing to decipher what’s going on. Reading your...

The 5 Stages of Querying

#1) Conceit – This is the beginning of the query experience in which you are convinced that any agent would be a fool to turn you down. You know deep in your heart this is the most fantastic book ever written and every agent who reads your query will request a...

I am Critiquing Queries and Pitches!

If you dread writing a query letter or composing a pitch for your book, perhaps all you need is a little feedback and instruction. That’s why I’m running a webinar called “Novel Queries & Pitches: Critique Series.” Here’s the deal: The key to catching an agent’s eye is a compelling query...