Agent Janet Reid is dedicated to helping writers write effective queries through brutal honesty.
If you ever go to a writer’s conference or happen to meet an agent in an elevator, do you have a pitch prepared? Literary agent Rachelle Gardner outlines the important points you should include when pitching your novel (and also what you should avoid).
Tips for Pitching and Querying Agents
YA writer Ingrid Sundberg shared a hand-out from Andrea Brown agent Mary Kole that she received at an SCBWI agent day on pitching and querying. It includes some great advice, as well as step-by-step questions you should address in your pitch.
Will Literary Agents Really Read Your Query Letter?
This posts covers reasons why a query letter may not be read, the problems with many queries and some tips on how to write better queries.
Another great post from YA Writer Ingrid Sundberg, this time sharing some advice from Agent Jill Corcoran of the Herman Agency. A comprehensive list of what not to do in a query letter.
What Writers Wish They’d Known Before Pitching
A list of 12 things that matter to agents and editors when being pitched by writers.
Agent intern Amie (who also does great query sessions on Twitter using the hashtag #queryslam) lists 4 big mistakes you should avoid in your writing. And even though the post is titled ‘Some Query Mistakes’, the mistakes she lists can really be applied to your writing as a whole, not just your query letter or first five pages.
16 Reasons Why Your Manuscript Got Rejected Before Page 1
A former assistant editor outlines 16 common problems found in query letters and offers some solutions.
How to Ensure 75% of Agents Will Request Your Material
This post caused a little bit of controversy, and not everyone agrees the 75% request rate is accurate, but nonetheless Marcus Sakey makes some noteworthy points.
Agent Nathan Bransford outlines how to write a query letter. This is a really good post for anyone in the process of writing a query letter as it has lots of great information on the steps involved, from researching the right agent to the most important points to include in your letter.
Kidlit agent Mary Kole has also posted on pb queries this month. She describes how pb queries need to be simple and gives an example. (Where were these insightful posts two months ago when I was writing my pb query?)
A short simple post on how to craft a logline for your novel.
Writing a Logline/The One-Sentence Pitch
This post goes a little more in-depth into writing a logline. It sets out the elements of a hook line and gives examples.
The #1 culprit of Why Pitch Paragraphs in Adult or Children’s SF&F Query Letters Miss
As well as outlining the number one culprit of rejection of science fiction and fantasy book queries, agent Kristen also includes a list of the top ten reasons why SF&F query letters get rejected.
Top 25 Reasons Your Submissions Are Rejected
A list of reasons why agents and publishers reject writers’ submissions.
The Five Elements of a Novel Query
The first post in a blog series on writing novel queries, this post outlines the five elements that should be included in your query, and follows up with some examples.
6 and 1/2 Ways to Impress an Agent
Literary agent Tina Wexler outlines six and a half ways to impress an agent.
Author Jody Hedlund talks about query statistics and how you can improve your chances of getting an agent.
The Difference Between ‘Pitch’ and ‘Query’
Query Shark, Janet Reid, outlines the difference between giving a verbal pitch to an agent and writing a query.
Your Professional Bio: Query Letter and Cover Letter Tips for Writers
As part of a query or cover letter, writers are asked to include a bio paragraph. This post outlines the things you should and shouldn’t include in your bio paragraph, and what to do if you have no writing credentials.
The Biggest Mistakes Writers Make When Querying Literary Agents
This is a long post, but well worth reading. J.M. Tohline e-mailed 100 literary agents and asked them the same question, “What is the single biggest mistake writers make when querying you?” This post looks at the answers received from these agents, including some of the detail agents went into when answering.
How to Write a Bio for Your Query
Dot point list of what to include and also includes an example of what to do if you have no writing credentials.
What Your Query Says About Your Book
Your query letter is your first impression of your manuscript. This post tells you how much an agent can tell about your manuscript just by reading your query letter.
Corinne Jackson shares an original query letter she wrote that kept getting rejected, tips she received from a literary agent to improve the query and a revised query she wrote using the tips from the agent that resulted in requests for partials and fulls.
A look at how to write an effective query in only 140 characters.
Rites of Submission: Cover Letters and Query Letters
This article includes two sample letters: an example of what not to do (including common mistakes) and a successful letter.
How I Got My Agent (Part 1: The Parts of a Good Query)
Author Susan Dennard shares advice on writing a good query letter, using her own successful query letter as an example.
The Call – Questions to Ask the Agent
An agent likes your manuscript and wants to offer you representation. Now what? A printable list of questions to ask when you get ‘The Call’.
Hook ‘Em In (in three seconds or less)
Literary agent Natalie Fischer gives some helpful hook tips.
Three reasons why pitches fail.
Whether you’re published, unpublished, querying, have a Twitter or Facebook account or a blog, at some point in your writing career you will need to write an author bio (multiple times!). Think you’re boring? Or haven’t done enough yet? This post offers 5 simple and logical ways to spice up your author bio.
Questions You Might Be Asked When Offered Representation
Literary agent Mary Kole gives insight into the questions you might be asked by an agent if he/she calls to offer representation and why the agent is asking them.
What Will Make an Agent ‘Gong’ Your Query
Thirteen reasons why an agent will stop reading your query–things to avoid when writing query letters.
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