Blogger: Rachel Kent
I started seeing mention of these Bad Query Contests on Twitter this week so I thought it would be fun to host one on the Books & Such blog. Please take a moment to jot a quick query in the comments section for a project that doesn’t exist. I will then pick the worst query at the end of the day and the prize will be an
evaluation of your REAL query letter and–to sweeten the deal– a copy of my client Liz Johnson’s new book, A Promise to Protect. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow morning (Thursday) on the bottom of this blog and I’ll also email the winner to get his or her real query letter and mailing address.
To write a bad query letter you first need to know what makes a good query. Here are a few pointers:
1) Start off your query with a sentence that hooks the editor or agent. This hook is most effective when it shows off the unique aspect of your manuscript.
2) Keep your query short and to the point–but not too short. One standard page is a good length.
3) Make sure you check your query for spelling/grammar errors. You don’t want to have any!
4) Be sure to include information about the book and also about yourself.
5) Include your word count, title, and genre in the query letter.
6) Let your writing voice come out in your query. Be yourself!
To read more about writing a good query, check out an older blog of Janet’s: https://booksandsuch.com/blog/before-the-publisher-writing-a-winsome-query/
Have fun writing your bad queries! And please don’t feel like you need to spend a long time on them!
If you have any questions about query letters in general feel free to ask in the comments as well.