9 months ago if you were to ask me how to have a fiction novel published I would have explained oh that's easy! You write a book, find a publisher and wait for the contract to be sent to you. Bam! Done! Instant glamour and success! (not quite......)
After finishing the first completion of my novel I started to research what I really needed to do in order to get my book published. I looked up publishers and agents trying to decipher who does what in the publishing industry.
I stumbled upon many wonderful blogs and articles from experienced and published authors that gave the information out honestly of what needs to be done. At that point I decided that writing the 100,000 word novel was the easy part.
I found out what a query letter was ( I had no idea I would have to query anything, or anyone for that matter) and figured out I better write one! I had myself convinced this would be easy. I practiced a few letters and saved them onto my laptop.
Every day I spent an amazing amount of time on the internet researching everything that pops into my mind about writing. I am always looking for what I need to do to make my manuscript better.
I automatically go to Google and type in whatever word that pops out to me at the moment.
I started researching query letters and how to go about writing one. Honestly, it was more like how to write an incredible query letter that will make my prospective literary agent run to the phone and beg me to sign a contract with them. And I found loads of much information, but of course that wasn't my first Google search on the topic, if I were being honest a safe guesstimate would be about 675 Google searches on query letters and how to write one.
After my countless hours of researching and finding out what works and what doesn't I finally feel I am ready to create the award winning letter and send it off to my selected and carefully researched agents.
So doing what I normally do after working 8 hours and spending 1 1/2 hours driving through Denver's lovely traffic, rush home make dinner, feed the family and the animals, and sit in front of computer and........nothing. My mind is a complete blank. Well, that's a bummer. But there is always tomorrow, right? Wrong! I force myself to begin the rehearsal of the magical letter that will determine if I am represented by an agent or not.
Somethings I have learned about writing a great query letter thus far:
* Keep it Professional
From the format, to the letterhead the query letter must exude professionalism. After all if I wouldn't take the time to know how to format and create a professional letter, why should an agent waste their valuable time with my manuscript?
* Keep it Simple
Less is more, from what I have read no more that 1 page and start out with the basic information. For the first paragraph....... who you are, the genre of your book and word length and title of the book. Second paragraph a brief synopsis of the book. Third paragraph is for any awards, affiliations and if your an expert because of you career choices, etc. and how that has given you an edge in what you are writing. And of course in closing, graciously thanking the agent for their outrageously precious time.
And still, as I write these words I have not gotten my query letters finished and will probably go dig around a little more to find out what works and what doesn't. But with all of this being said, I will write and rewrite those ever important words that will help get my story one step closer to becoming a published piece of fiction.
Time will tell, and eventually so will I! (in my book that is.......)