Query Tip Time #1

Query Tip Time is a new segment I had the idea to start doing so that we could all share our tips about writing a great query that will get our manuscripts noticed. With that in mind, here are a few:

1. When you have a draft you're comfortable with, share it on a website like AgentQuery Connect to get feedback before sending out your query.

2. Clearly answer the basic questions about your novel. What is your book about? Who are your characters? What happens to them? What does the main character want and what stands in his/her way? What are the stakes?

3. Read the Query Shark's blog and learn her rules for writing a great query. Primary rule: the query should interest your query reader enough to want to request pages. If it does that, the query has accomplished its goal.

4. Here's a tip from Anita Mumm of Nelson Literary Agency. This was part of her latest Tips from the Slushpile in the February e-newsletter, in which Anita reveals her top 3 turn-offs in a query letter. One suggestion she had was to avoid formulaic sentences, as it shows your manuscript might also be full of them. An example she provided was, "[Main character] wanted nothing more than to... Instead, she found herself..."

-glances up at blurb about The MirrorMasters-

Ok, guilty as charged. Umm...yeah. I'm going to have to rework that. Well, that's a great piece of advice, and it's a good thing there's plenty more advice about writing queries out there. Any other tips you guys have found and used/plan to use in your queries? If you have a blog post about it, or make one, leave the link here in the comments section so we can check it out!


  1. Thanks for the tips. I'm in the midst of query hell right now. One thing I plan to do is post my query letter on the Absolute Write forums. They can be brutal but they know what they're talking about.

  2. Best of luck on your query quest! Sounds like you have a good plan :)


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