Querying 101

Hey everyone, it’s official… I am sending out my first batch of queries for my adult epic fantasy novel Legends of Annun: The Godstones starting tomorrow! I have learned a lot preparing for this, and would like to share what I can with you.

First thing I’d like to suggest to any writer planning on querying is to make sure that your manuscript is in the best shape it can possibly be in. Your MS should be COMPLETE! In addition, you should not query until you have had a decent batch of people look at your MS: friends, family, other writers, beta readers, or even an editor if you can afford one.

After you have polished your MS to the best of your ability, then I suggest attempting to determine what your pitch is going to be, if you have not already. The pitch is a very important aspect of a query. It is what will hopefully grab an Agent’s attention and make them want to read your MS. A pitch should have information about the main protagonist(s), what they desire, their obstacles/struggles, and the stakes of your plot. I will likely attempt to write another post later with more information about pitches.

The next step in querying is researching Agents. The website querytracker.net is an amazing resource for this and makes keeping track of Agents much easier. I highly recommend it. Things you should look for when researching which Agents to query are: they represent your genre, they have similar tastes in literature or interests, any additional information about them that fits with your voice, style, or personal needs/wants.

When researching Agents, I suggest writing down a few things about each of them that you can mention in your query letter. Remember, you are basically selling your book to the Agent, so you need to think of points that you might get them more interested. For example, if you have an abundance of dark humor and sarcasm and the Agent expresses their interests in those things on their website, don’t be afraid to mention that your book has them! In other words, don’t be afraid to get a little personal. Adjusting your pitch slightly to better appeal to a specific Agent could mean the difference between a pass and a request.

As I embark on my querying journey, I plan to share what I learn and keep you updated on my progress.

Wish me luck! And, as always, keep writing!

Allison M

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