Hello gentle reader,
Welcome to the Successful Queries Blog Series! The idea is to share with you Queries That Worked and to find out what made them stand out in the slushpile. My hope is that it’ll help you, querying writers, to write an amazing query for your own manuscript and to find Your Agent.
Updated 27/05/17: Amanda’s first book in the Shadow Game series, ACE OF SHADES, will be published by Harlequin Teen in April 2018. To avoid spoilers, her query for the book has been removed from this post. But you can read the blurb and add ACE OF SHADES on Goodreads here!
How long did it take you to write this query?
It took me ages to write the query. I tend to write queries very early on, before I’ve even fully plotted a book. It helps me with direction. So, that in mind, I was in the middle of writing the ms around WriteOnCon, so I submitted it there. Changed it a few times. Finished the book. Changed it more. Got an R&R that required me to change it yet again. So countless, countless times with countless, countless reviewers.
Did you have beta readers or CPs (or did you enter contests or workshops) to help you with your query?
Oh yes. My CPs read my query for me, plus I entered workshops with other sorts of pitches. Also, anonymous readers for queries are great since they’re not familiar with your story.
What was the hardest part to get right?
For the book, at the stage of querying, definitely world-building. Before this query, I had gotten a major R&R that changed my entire world. For the query, it was a mixture of world-building and plot. I have a dual POV but never felt like I gave enough of Levi’s separate plot line my query, but some things just need to go to make room.
Any advice for querying writers out there?
Don’t get ‘trigger happy’ with queries. It will be very tempting to send out to every agent that exists in your first batch, but of all batches, your first batch to be the smallest to gage reception. Maybe 10 agents. If you’re not getting a lot of positive response, try to reevaluate your query and opening pages and determine what can be improved. Also, do something to take your mind off querying. Work on a new project, especially (not your book’s sequel). Even if it’s silly and not meant for anyone else’s eyes, do something that pulls you away from refreshing your inbox every five minutes.
Thank you so much for taking part in this blog series, Amanda!
Any questions? Ask below!