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Query Letter Help


TDDracken

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I feel like God has blessed me with a wide range of understanding and a great imagination.  I can understand a lot of high science concepts like the fundamentals of quantum theory (Thanks in no small part to the teachings of Chuck Missler).  I can come up with a concept with just a bit of mental fodder when I can think clearly.  i can do a lot of things...  But with some things, I feel entirely overwhelmed and don't even know where to begin to start.  I'll certainly be the first to admit that there's a lot of things I can't do very well and...  This is one of them.  I've done research and was able to write and author's bio for myself (which I've posted in the Critique section) but something about the notion of writing a Query Letter has me completely frozen.  I've looked at examples, done research, and then stared blankly at a screen.

 

The difficult part is that this is the last thing that has to be done before Razmataz Rigamoraz (a children's picture book manuscript) is ready for submission.  I've dithered a bit with revising Drifter's Origins when I have the time and can think clearly.  Done extra things around the house...  Anything but the last step before trying to tackle the next hurdle of finding someone to submit it to.

 

 

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Well, how about this... write one here... and let us ponder upon it (let us reason together) as if we were the addressees. Just, let fly... if it is aweful, :) we will work from there, and produce awesome! I have never written one but have written many business letters (some were aweful awesome, now what kind of word is aweful. I'm conflicted).

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I have considerable experience in writing query letters that are rejected. Would you like some tips? ?

 

The most important thing about query letters is that you follow the guidelines that the agent or publisher sets forth on their website. If there is no such guidance to be had, follow standard industry practice for your genre. 

 

1. Length. One or two pages, single spaced, unless told otherwise.

2. Wordcount. Always state the wordcount for your manuscript.

3. Genre. Name the genre. If it is a hybrid, find out if that combination has a name, and get it right. For example, fantasy-romance is different from romantic-fantasy. One has the emphasis on the fantasy, the other on the romance, and I can't remember which is which.

4. Synopsis (for fiction) or outline (for nonfiction). Writing this is hard. There are many articles on this website about how to write a synopsis. Read them. Some publishers want a one or two paragraph synopsis, some a one pager, some as long as three pages.

5. Hook. Lead with something interesting about the story or yourself, but usually the story.

6. Similar titles. This is more common in a full proposal, but may be relevant to a cover letter. What other books will this compete with? Why is yours better or different? Readers of which book will also like yours?

7. Credentials. Why you are qualified to write this book? Do you have a platform that will enable you to publicize your book? Do you have writing credits? Include only biographic details that are relevant to persuading them that you are the writer they have been waiting to represent.

8. Appeal to interest. Does this publisher publish this kind of book? Has this agent or editor expressed an interest in your topic on social media? Many writers send queries to companies that do not publish the kind of book being offered, wasting everybody's time. Say something that shows that you know what the company publishes, perhaps by viewing their online catalogue, and that your book falls within that scope.

9. Name. Make sure that you know the correct name and spelling of the person you are sending the query to, if that information is available.

10. Style. Write with grace and tact.

11. Features. Does your book have any unusual features that will appeal to the reader? For example, if you were writing a nonfiction book on management, if you have twenty sidebars with interviews of fortune 500 executives, that would be a compelling feature. If you write a fantasy story with clues that the readers can use to find a prize in a real life treasure hunt, that is a compelling feature.

12. Contact details. Make sure your email, phone and address are spelled correctly.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Paul

 

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Well, here's the start of it.

 

========================================

 

Dear [Agent]

[personal bit about the agent and reason for choosing them]

A curious little green alien visited Anytown on Earth to find out what they did for a living.  Razmataz Rigamoraz, this book is about what they said.

 

Razmataz Rigamoraz! The things people do is a children’s educational picture book.  It is 402 words long and covers a variety of careers children might do when they grow up like being a baker, mechanic, builder, and others.

 

**[Would I insert my author bio here?]**

 

Thank you for considering Razmataz Rigamoraz and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Kindest regards,

Jason Patterson

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On 9/17/2018 at 4:34 PM, David Watkins said:

Well, how about this... write one here... and let us ponder upon it (let us reason together) as if we were the addressees. Just, let fly... if it is aweful, :) we will work from there, and produce awesome! I have never written one but have written many business letters (some were aweful awesome, now what kind of word is aweful. I'm conflicted).

awesome idea! Let's do it!

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54 minutes ago, TDDracken said:

Well, here's the start of it.

 

========================================

 

Dear [Agent]

[personal bit about the agent and reason for choosing them]

A curious little green alien visited Anytown on Earth to find out what they did for a living.  Razmataz Rigamoraz, this book is about what they said.

 

Razmataz Rigamoraz! The things people do is a children’s educational picture book.  It is 402 words long and covers a variety of careers children might do when they grow up like being a baker, mechanic, builder, and others.

 

**[Would I insert my author bio here?]**

 

Thank you for considering Razmataz Rigamoraz and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Kindest regards,

Jason Patterson

Make this your own!

Confidence sells. Show them how imaginative you are, because that's what sells!

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1 hour ago, TDDracken said:

covers a variety of careers children might do when they grow up like being a baker, mechanic, builder, and others.

Ditch the might do part.  Instead, as Nicholas said, you need confidence in your book.  

 

So something more like; 

 

It is 402 words long, covering a variety of jobs that will entertain, and fascinate children.  Including baker, mechanic, builder, and much more.  

 

Although, builder is a little vague outside of the concept of your story, so you might want a different example there.  

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Here's the slight revision.  Should I role in my bio into the section where I would tell a bit about my accomplishments?  I don't have a background in writing but my background in designing games and founding my own game studio might pique some interest.

 

==============================

 

Dear [Agent]

[personal bit about the agent and reason for choosing them]

A curious little green alien visited Anytown on Earth to find out what they did for a living.  Razmataz Rigamoraz, this book is about what they said.

Razmataz Rigamoraz! The things people do is a children’s educational picture book.  It is 402 words long, covering a variety of jobs that will entertain, and fascinate children.  Including baker, mechanic, teacher, and more.

 

**[Would I insert my author bio here?]**

Thank you for considering Razmataz Rigamoraz and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Kindest regards,

Jason Patterson

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1 hour ago, TDDracken said:

Here's the slight revision.  Should I role in my bio into the section where I would tell a bit about my accomplishments?  I don't have a background in writing but my background in designing games and founding my own game studio might pique some interest.

 

==============================

 

Dear [Agent]

[personal bit about the agent and reason for choosing them]

A curious little green alien visited Anytown on Earth to find out what they did for a living.  Razmataz Rigamoraz, this book is about what they said.

Razmataz Rigamoraz! The things people do is a children’s educational picture book.  It is 402 words long, covering a variety of jobs that will entertain, and fascinate children.  Including baker, mechanic, teacher, and more.

 

**[Would I insert my author bio here?]**

Thank you for considering Razmataz Rigamoraz and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Kindest regards,

Jason Patterson

 

I'm going to look at this harder tomorrow, time availing. To me, we are producing "by faith", so your background should be straightforward and relevant. You piqued my interest when you said game studio :)

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12 hours ago, David Watkins said:

o find out what they did for a living.

"They" here has no precedent. Perhaps "what people did ..."

 

12 hours ago, David Watkins said:

that will entertain, and fascinate children.

No comma after "entertain." Your list only has two items connected with "and."

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8 minutes ago, carolinamtne said:
15 hours ago, Alley said:

fascinate children.  Including baker, mechanic, builder, and much more.  

Here comes the comma thing.

Swap out the period after "children," and recapitalize "Including."

I internally debated this.  Then I choose the wrong one.  ☹️

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18 hours ago, TDDracken said:

OK, TDD,I took a whack at how I might approach this. I guessed at content. See what you think.

##############

 

Jason Patterson

123 Farm Road

Farmtown, FM 01234

 

Agent Name

Address

 

 

 

Dear [Agent]

 

[personal bit about the agent and reason for choosing them]

 

I have written a story that I would like to share with you with the intent of publishing it. "Razmataz Rigamoraz! The Things People Do" is a children’s educational picture book.  It is 402 words long and covers a variety of careers that children might do when they grow up, things like being a baker, mechanic, builder, those sorts of things. The idea is to inspire... etc, (whatever your intent is...) 

 

The story is about a curious little green alien named, XXX, that visited Earth, specifically, a village called "Anytown." The little alien came to find out what Earthlings did for a living.  Razmataz Rigamoraz, is the title for this book, and the story mainly consists of dialogue between XXX and the inhabitants of Anytown.

 

**[Would I insert my author bio here?]** (YES, I think so) - Might be good to mention you are affiliated with ChristianWriter.com, avid member, etc. etc. Anything that upsells you. If you feel lacking here (as I often do), go forth! Refuse to be fearful. :) You are hereby validated! The Holy Spirit is you seal of approval.

 

Thank you for considering Razmataz Rigamoraz and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Kindest regards,

Jason Patterson

 

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Since the air in the house is cleaner now, I am able to think enough to write and work on this.

 

So, here is the latest draft of the query letter.  I've included more details

 

==================================

 

Dear [Agent]

[personal bit about the agent and reason for choosing them]

I would like to share a story with you about a curious little green alien visited a small city named Anytown to find out what the people there did for a living.  “Razmataz Rigamoraz! The things people do” is a children’s educational picture book written around the rhythm of the spoken word.  It is 402 words long, and covers a variety of jobs that will entertain, and fascinate children.  Including baker, mechanic, teacher, and more.

 

I graduated from college with a mixed Studio Art and Management degree with and founded his own video game studio, Dolphin Entertainment, LLC, shortly after graduation with the dream of creating interactive stories to share with the world.  Together with a bootstrap startup team I released my first title, Flashback: A Memory Game for the Rest of Us, as a learning experience.

 

Development in the second title, a tank combat game in the e-sports genre, stalled due to schedule conflicts of team members.  During this stall I began developing extensive lore for what would have been the third title and first franchise of the studio.  It was during this that I discovered a love for the written word and officially halted game development.

 

From then on, I have been pursuing a double focus of writing.  The first focus is writing fun children’s stories that could one day be shared with his young daughter.  The second focus is to capture the essence in novels of the worlds and sagas I once intended to share through video games with an eye toward their adaptation into digital mediums.

 

Thank you for considering Razmataz Rigamoraz and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Kindest regards,

Jason Patterson

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13 minutes ago, TDDracken said:

I would like to share a story with you about a curious little green alien visited a small city

 

Add "that" visited

 

13 minutes ago, TDDracken said:

I graduated from college with a mixed Studio Art and Management degree with

 

remove "with"

 

13 minutes ago, TDDracken said:

 

and founded his own video game studio,

 

"my" own

 

13 minutes ago, TDDracken said:

 

Dolphin Entertainment, LLC, shortly after graduation with the dream of creating interactive stories to share with the world.  Together with a bootstrap startup team I released my first title, Flashback: A Memory Game for the Rest of Us, as a learning experience.

 

Development in the second title

 

Should it be, I developed a second title? Or something?

 

13 minutes ago, TDDracken said:

 

 

, a tank combat game in the e-sports genre, stalled due to schedule conflicts of team members.  During this stall

 

unsure about the word "stall"

 

13 minutes ago, TDDracken said:

I began developing extensive lore for what would have been the third title and first franchise of the studio.  It was during this

 

during this "time"?

 

I think you are about there, brother.

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15 hours ago, David Watkins said:
Quote

Dolphin Entertainment, LLC, shortly after graduation with the dream of creating interactive stories to share with the world.  Together with a bootstrap startup team I released my first title, Flashback: A Memory Game for the Rest of Us, as a learning experience.

 

Development in the second title

 

Should it be, I developed a second title? Or something?

 

The second title was never completed.  If it had been, I doubt that I would have noticed my calling to be primarily a writer instead of a game designer.  Also, thanks for the reviewing!  As per the example I found online for writing an author bio, it was written in third person.  I missed a few instances of that when I translated it into first person.

 

And here is the current version.  Once it passes muster for content and punctuation I think it may be time for the next daunting step.

 

==============================================================================

Dear [Agent]

[personal bit about the agent and reason for choosing them]

 

I would like to share a story with you about a curious little green alien that visited a small city named Anytown to find out what the people there did for a living.  “Razmataz Rigamoraz! The things people do” is a children’s educational picture book written around the rhythm of the spoken word.  It is 402 words long, and covers a variety of jobs that will entertain, and fascinate children including baker, mechanic, teacher, and more.

 

I graduated from college with a mixed Studio Art and Management degree and founded my own video game studio, Dolphin Entertainment, LLC, shortly after graduation with the dream of creating interactive stories to share with the world.  Together with a bootstrap startup team I released my first title, Flashback: A Memory Game for the Rest of Us, as a learning experience.

 

Development in the second title, a tank combat game in the e-sports genre, stalled due to schedule conflicts of team members.  During this delay I began developing extensive lore for what would have been the third title and first franchise of the studio.  It was during this time that I discovered a love for the written word and officially halted game development.

 

From then on, I have been pursuing a double focus of writing.  The first focus is writing fun children’s stories that could one day be shared with his young daughter.  The second focus is to capture the essence in novels of the worlds and sagas I once intended to share through video games with an eye toward their adaptation into digital mediums.

 

Thank you for considering Razmataz Rigamoraz and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Kindest regards,

Jason Patterson

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