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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Do's and Don'ts of Query Letters

Hello Fellow Writers!

Yesterday I worked on my query letter for "The Movie Star's Very Personal Assistant". It' s tough to do it! I also worked on my two page synopsis. That went pretty well except for the fact that it's a 2 1/2 page synopsis, and they want 1-2 pages. So I need to work on that some more.

While reviewing how best to write a query letter, I looked on eHarlequin.com for their article on query letters. Click here to read the full article on their site, as this is just an excerpt.

The Do's and Don'ts of Querying
See revision/rejection letters as an opportunity to enhance your writing by utilizing constructive comments.
Revise your project following the revision letter and resubmit ONLY if asked by the editor.
Vent to your friends, not your editor (aka Don't hit the send button on that unhappy email!).
Take advantage of the support, feedback and guidance offered by the RWA.
Research the best person to send it to in the line.
Demonstrate enthusiasm for your project.
Keep your cover letter professional and one page long.
Remember a SASE.
Remember to give all the information in a synopsis — no cliff-hangers, please!
Help us help you.
Ignore the constructive comments in rejection letters. They are intended to help.
Depend on spell check.
Forget that today's editorial assistant may be tomorrow's acquiring editor — treat all EAs and editors with respect.
Disregard our guidelines.
Ask the editor to decide what line your book is for.
Query on an incomplete manuscript.
Send the same project to multiple in-house editors simultaneously.
Send more than one project in at a time.
Include irrelevant information or materials in your letter or your synopsis.
Pick up the phone and call to ask if your manuscript has arrived. DO re-query and/or send a self-addressed stamped postcard and/or use postal tracking.
Try to guilt the editor or "trick" them into calling you back.
Call when a project has been rejected.
Send bound material.
Put all your eggs in one basket. DO work on other stories while you wait for a response.
Handwrite anything.
So there ya have it. Today I may tinker with my synopsis. I'm gearing up for NaNoWriMo, so I may do some character studies for "Snowed in with a Millionaire" to get ready.

Wish me luck and good luck to you too!
Yours Truly,
Shoshanna Evers

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