This month I tackle the query.
The Essential 10
- All book titles are written in all caps.
- Include the word count (rounded up, not 73,489).
- Include the category (Adult, NA YA, MG, PB) and genre (fantasy; science fiction; romance; etc.). Resist the urge to create new genres. Your work will fit in one of the existing, I promise.
- Don’t use throwaway words. The query is a writing sample. If it’s not good enough, agents won’t move on to your first page. Treat every sentence and every word in the pitch with the same care that you do your novel. That means not using the same word repeatedly, not using “look” when “ransack” is better, and of course, not having spelling, grammar, or other errors. Read your query over—many times. Ask someone else to read it over. And then you read it over again. And again.