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Dark Sim
05-12-2006, 12:39 AM
Sorry if this has been asked before. Some agents just ask for query letters but no unsolicited manuscripts. They don't specify whether they want a synopsis or the first 3 chapters. In such a situation, what should I send, since they wouldn't have an idea of what the novel is about nor a sample of my writing? The only writing they would be able to see is from the letter, which is simply a business letter.

Any ideas?

Thanks

james1611
05-12-2006, 01:00 AM
Actually, they are looking at your writing in the query letter also.
You are giving them a very brief concise synopsis in a paragraph or two with a definite hook to draw them in. If they like that snippet they will ask for more material such as a partial, synopsis, or even a complete manuscript.

If they don't specifically state that they want those materials, don't send anything but the query letter itself in the body of an email. Make this as good as you can. There are many sites that show you how to write good queries, giving examples and so forth.

peace,

Rev. James

DeadlyAccurate
05-12-2006, 02:32 AM
If they don't specifically say "Don't put anything else with the letter," you can usually add the first five pages of your manuscript (this is Miss Snark's advice). If it's an email query, add it to the bottom of the page, NOT as an attachment. I had a request for a partial yesterday from an email query I sent just this way.

Cathy C
05-12-2006, 02:40 AM
Since a query is, by definition, a "question"--that question is, "May I please send you more about this book?" then including a synopsis and chapters isn't generally part of the bargain. I guess I agree with Ms. Snark that including a page or two couldn't hurt, and wouldn't annoy MOST agents/editor. But always consider that it might indeed annoy one or two. I still go with the old standby: If they don't say YES (include other things with the letter), they mean no.


:Shrug: But that's just me.

Gillhoughly
05-12-2006, 02:48 AM
Goodness, but e-mails have changed things mightily from when I started out. You can get rejections just THAT much faster! :D

I'd suggest going over the agent's website (or that Writer's Market entry) very carefully to check on the rules. So many are picky about accepting only snail mail queries vs e-queries.

If, after a very careful check over so you know you didn't miss it, you can't find specifics, it's ok to e-mail and ask what specifics they want with a query letter.

Sometimes they will inform you they're not accepting queries because they're presently flooded and just can't look at anything else. Some of the big publishers will have full schedules for 2-3 years in advance.

I sent my first query to Murder Ink back in the day. It wasn't much of a letter, but they wrote back in my SASE and asked for the 3 sample chapters and outline. I thought the initial query was a waste of time, since it didn't tell them much, but all the books I'd read on how to get published said to go through the hoops even if they don't make a lot of sense.

Oh--I didn't sell to Murder Ink, but the process did get my feet wet. The next time around I was a bit more confident!

(And the next and the next and the next and the next and the next....)

argenianpoet
05-20-2006, 04:36 AM
I'd suggest going over the agent's website (or that Writer's Market entry) very carefully to check on the rules. So many are picky about accepting only snail mail queries vs e-queries.

If, after a very careful check over so you know you didn't miss it, you can't find specifics, it's ok to e-mail and ask what specifics they want with a query letter.

I would have to agree with Gillhoughly here on this one.