Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ah! No need to obsess over query details

Michael Bourret, the Dystel & Goderich agent soon to set up shop in Los Angeles, has a nice post on the agency blog about queries--and how to make yours stand out without tearing your hair out.

What I’m looking for is a unique idea and good writing. I’m looking for an authentic, interesting voice--yes, voice in your query. I’m looking to get a feel for your style in just a couple of paragraphs. I’m looking for you to describe your book, whether it’s commercial or literary or in between, in a way that makes me want to keep reading. In October, I linked to a great query example, the one that Lisa McMann had written for Wake that was recently in Writer’s Digest. It was exactly I’m looking for: it was unlike any query I’d received before (or since). How so, you ask? It was entirely unique to Lisa and her book. It didn’t follow any formula or template. It gave me the information I ask for, but it did so in a way that was different. And I can promise you, all of the successful queries I’ve read have done the same thing.

Read the rest.

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