Apr 15, 2009

I now KNOW How Long is Too Long! (For a query letter of course!)

After participating in Nathan Bransford's Agent for a Day Contest, I have found an answer to one of my Previous Blogs... "How Long is TOO Long? Why writing a Query Letter can be so Frustrating!" There is something about reading 50 Random Query Letters that brings a little perspective to writing one yourself. Here are some key things I learned this morning....

1.) Short and Sweet = Sure to be read, not skimmed over!

Some of the query letters were SO long and over descriptive that it took everything in me to read through to the end. I was excited when I came across a query which was only a few paragraphs.

***Note! Not to be confused with queries that had TONS of missing info.***

2.) Know WHEN to just stop talking!

I'd get hooked on the first paragraph, then they'd try to elaborate, and I would lose all interest. If your one paragraph can hook a reader...seriously...just STOP TALKNG!!! ( I know that sounds harsh, and who am I to judge, but please keep in mind I just read 50 Query Letters in 3 hours!)

3.) If you have a query, it really doesn't matter how long or short your query is. If you've got a good story, it will hook someone. Which brings me to 4.

4.) You aren't going to hook EVERY agent, but that doesn't mean you won't hook ANY of them.

I read through a bunch of the comments as well. One thing that was consistent throughout ALL of them was this- Everyone likes something different. With over 200 Agents for the Day, not many of them picked the 5 same books. Lesson: Just because one agent rejects you, it does not mean they
ALL will reject you.

If you haven't had a chance to check out this contest, even if just to read through the queries and some of the comments. I highly suggest you do so.

If you HAVE had a chance to check it out....what did you think of it? Did you find it resourceful or just redundant? Tell me how you felt!


Jessica said...

Hey, I thought it was very resourceful for writers. I don't have time to participate but wish I could have.
Great points here!

T. Anne said...

I agree with your points! I'll try and shorten a few of my queries.

Litgirl01 said...

I was going to try the "agent for the day" thing. However, I saw all of the queries, got overwhelmed, and hid. :-/

Great post! Good points!