Wednesday, September 18, 2013

photo credit: Unhindered by Talent via photopin cc
This week I managed to finish another revision of my novel and emailed it to my Beta Reader. Now I'm on to the next step, writing my query letter... oh joy! I have written one before, not well, and am attempting to do it again, hopefully better this time. My goal is to tame the query beast now so when the book is completed I can move straight to submission. This brings me to my question for today, how did you do it? 

Through writing friends I've discovered a wonderful site,, which has a lot of Examples of Successful Queries and other tidbits, but as my grandmother used to say, It's best to get it Straight from the horse's mouth. Not that I consider you a horse, but you get my meaning. So if you can help please tell me how you went about the process of drafting your query? Trial and error? Cut and paste? Let someone else write it for you, or skip it all together? When you were done, what did you do next?

It feels odd to be asking these questions after so many years of working on the book, but it seems that after years of teaching my *baby* to sit up, the time has come to teach her to walk. 

One More Thing...                                     

I love discovering esoteric holidays! Today, September 18th, is Cheeseburger Day, a foodie holiday celebrating one of the most famous finger foods of all time. Not only is it a favorite food, American singer Jimmy Buffett turned it into a hit single in 1978. Although I still prefer his earlier hit, Margaritaville, any song about food is always fun. Of course, you can still have a veggie burgers since September is National Organic Harvest Month.

What's your idea of the perfect cheeseburger? Buffalo & American? Turkey with Swiss? Veggie & Pepper Jack? However you take it go for the gusto because it's Cheeseburger Day!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Turkey burger!
I researched query letters and somehow managed to come up with something that worked.
Once you have yours together, contact Matthew at the QQQE and let him critique it on his blog. He rocks with his critiques.
And congratulations on winning the book during the Twitter party last night!

Sherry Ellis said...

Good luck with both writing a query and finding a publisher!

nutschell said...

You're querying! I'm so happy for you. I have yet to make it to that stage.

Kellie @ Delightfully Ludicrous said...

I have to admit, I read that as "National organ harvest month" and I was a bit concerned for a minute there.

Julie Flanders said...

I thought writing a query letter was SO hard!! Way harder than actually writing the novel LOL. Good luck and how exciting to be thinking about sending your ms out. :)

Susanne Drazic said...

Good luck with the querying process!

Michelle Wallace said...

I've never done the querying thing... it DOES sound daunting!
A chicken cheese burger is delicious!

S.P. Bowers said...

Happy cheeseburger day!

Querys are hard. What I ended up doing was keeping a file where I put ideas. These sentences or thoughts would pop up when I was thinking or talking about the book and I'd pop them in the file. Every now and again I'd go in and try to shape them into paragraphs. Eventually It turned into something resembling a query. I did this through much of the writing of the novel so I was shaping the query as I shaped the novel, this also gave me the chance to step away for long periods of time then come at it with fresh eyes. Then, I went and got help, lots of help. I got it critiqued a dozen times, each time I would write a new draft. Having other, more experienced people look at it was the best thing. Sorry that was so long.

joss said...

I wish I could help you on the query letter front, but I really can't remember all that much about mine, other than being incredibly stressed when writing it. I hate, hate, hate query letters and it is the part I am dreading most with the completion of my current work in progress.
I can however tell you about my favourite burgers. We get them from our local takeaway in the seaside town of Bude, and they are called mighty burgers. They have bacon and egg, and of course a burger, as well as sauce lettuce and onion and are really really scrummy. :)

joss said...

Oh I forget to say cheese lol, they have that too hehe

Natalie Aguirre said...

Good luck with the query. Mine was oh so not fun to write. Elana Johnson has a free e-book on query letters that's really good if you need help with yours. E-mail me if you can't find it.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Hooray for turkey burgers! Thanks for the tip, Alex, I was thinking about QQQE. I'll have to send it over for him to look at. *bites nails* Thanks also for the book, I got it in the mail today and had to fight it away from my Sci-Fi loving son and hubby. I told them to get in line.

Thank you, Sherry. One can never be too lucky.

Not quite there yet, Nutschell, just getting my letter ready while the beta-reader reads... so very close. It was a long way coming, but if I can get there, you can, too.

Hahaha! Thanks for the laugh, Kellie. I had to go back and check to be sure.

Julie, I agree with you. Squeezing the premise of an entire story into one page is like trying to fit into shoes ten sizes too small!

Thanks, Susanne.

Michelle, a chicken cheeseburger sounds yummy. Daunting is the perfect word to describe querying.

Thank you for tips, S.P., I don't mind it being long, I appreciate the advice. What a great idea to have a query file going while writing the book. I'm going to do that for my next book.

Joss, I'm developing a strong dislike for queries, too. On the other hand, those burgers sound delicious!

Thanks for the e-book tip, Natalie! I'm going to check it out.

Nicole said...

Good luck taming the query beast! Sites like Query Shark and Miss Snark's query crap-o-meters are hugely helpful.

Old Kitty said...

All the best with your edits and querying!! GOOD LUCK!!!!!!

And happy cheeseburger day! Yay!!! Yes, mine will be a veggie burger!

Take care

Tara Tyler said...

query advice, hit a couple of highs, use fewest names poss, leave em wanting more!

way to go!

Stephen Tremp said...

Good luck with your revision! I'm in the same process. Have to love those Beta readers!

I hate mayonnaise and any sauce that has that yucky sauce in it. Other than that, pile on the fixins!

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