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MarkEsq
09-07-2005, 06:04 AM
Any and all constructive criticisms welcome. Many thanks.

Dear XXXXX
Every year in America, 125,000 twins are born. This means that every year approximately 65,000 men come face to face with a truth that is neither cold nor hard: they will be changing diapers. But, although they donít know it yet, the primordial fears of fatherhood will never come close to the joys of having twins. The unexpected pleasures of having two (or more) easily outnumber the drawbacks that necessarily accompany extra orifices to fill and wipe, and extra wriggling limbs to clothe.
There are, of course, thousands of books on having babies, hundreds on having twins, and a fair handful written by men about fatherhood. This plethora of advice and anecdote is hardly surprising Ė having children is, for any new parent, a leap from the precipice of comfortable experience into the wild unknown. Yet, inexplicably, not one book has been written by and for the father-to-be of twins.

I am currently seeking representation for my nonfiction book, titled Holy Crap! (A Dadís Guide to Minimizing the Work and Maximizing the Joy of Twins). The book recognizes its target audience for what it is: a significant group of men who have neither the time nor inclination to be preached to, a collection of busy people with short attention spans and a preference for information in a boiled-down, easy-to-digest, and entertaining format. I am contacting you because of your high reputation in the industry and your interest in the non-fiction genre. I would like the opportunity to send you a proposal for the book.

As a former journalist and father of ten-month-old twins, I feel more than qualified to write this book. I now work as an attorney in Dallas, Texas, but spent fifteen years as a newspaper reporter, covering the police beat for a group of newspapers in Essex, England, and then working as a freelance writer in North Carolina. I have journalism degrees Sheffield College, England, and from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My law degree is from Duke University, where I had short stories published in the schoolís literary magazine, Alibi.

Thank you for your time and attention, I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Alphabet
09-07-2005, 11:47 AM
Wow this is great - it was attention grabbing and laugh out loud funny (what a brilliant title!)
My comments relate to the last paragraph.

1) I wouldn't state the age of the twins at all in the query! the first ten months may make you feel like you know everything but tell that to anyone with 18month olds or three year olds and they'll have a 'poor deluded' smile while they think of all the shocks and behaviour changes yet to come.

2) I am not at all sure that there is value in listing all those degrees and where they came from. The quality of the query letter would probably give enough confidence re: your linguistic and professional abilities and it felt a bit quagmire like and imho detracted from rather than enhanced the buzz-feeling.

I give my disclaimer in the form of a pinch of salt, btw.

ileana
09-07-2005, 12:23 PM
Hello,

I must agree with Alphabet in that the query is definitely an attention grabber: short, to the point, funny yet promising, and certainly very well crafted. I don't have children, but your sales pitch and style makes me want to read this book a.s.a.p.

With regard to the degrees, I do think they add to your excellent qualifications, but Alphabet may be right. Perhaps you may want to axe the last couple of lines, since it is obvious from the previous sentences that you have degrees in law and journalism:

"As a former journalist and father of twins, I feel more than qualified to write this book. I now work as an attorney in Dallas, Texas, but spent fifteen years as a newspaper reporter, covering the police beat for a group of newspapers in Essex, England, and then working as a freelance writer in North Carolina."

best,

ileana

MarkEsq
09-07-2005, 02:55 PM
Thanks so much for your input guys, most appreciated. Alphabet, seeing you reply made me smile, I grew up right outside Stevenage. :)

scfirenice
09-07-2005, 04:17 PM
One more thing to add, excellent query by the way, I would change the "I'm seeking representation" sentence Of course you are seeking representation. Another sentence saying something like "Thank you for taking time to consider representing "holy crap..." Great title and it sounds fantastic.

Lauri B
09-08-2005, 12:31 AM
Any and all constructive criticisms welcome. Many thanks.

Dear XXXXX
Every year in America, 125,000 twins are born. This means that every year approximately 65,000 men come face to face with a truth that is neither cold nor hard: they will be changing diapers. But, although they donít know it yet, the primordial fears of fatherhood will never come close to the joys of having twins. The unexpected pleasures of having two (or more) easily outnumber the drawbacks that necessarily accompany extra orifices to fill and wipe, and extra wriggling limbs to clothe.
There are, of course, thousands of books on having babies, hundreds on having twins, and a fair handful written by men about fatherhood. This plethora of advice and anecdote is hardly surprising Ė having children is, for any new parent, a leap from the precipice of comfortable experience into the wild unknown. Yet, inexplicably, not one book has been written by and for the father-to-be of twins.

I am currently seeking representation for my nonfiction book, titled Holy Crap! (A Dadís Guide to Minimizing the Work and Maximizing the Joy of Twins). The book recognizes its target audience for what it is: a significant group of men who have neither the time nor inclination to be preached to, a collection of busy people with short attention spans and a preference for information in a boiled-down, easy-to-digest, and entertaining format. I am contacting you because of your high reputation in the industry and your interest in the non-fiction genre. I would like the opportunity to send you a proposal for the book.

As a former journalist and father of ten-month-old twins, I feel more than qualified to write this book. I now work as an attorney in Dallas, Texas, but spent fifteen years as a newspaper reporter, covering the police beat for a group of newspapers in Essex, England, and then working as a freelance writer in North Carolina. I have journalism degrees Sheffield College, England, and from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My law degree is from Duke University, where I had short stories published in the schoolís literary magazine, Alibi.

Thank you for your time and attention, I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Hi Mark,
here's what I think about your query: it's well written, but doesn't offer me anything new. You explain that there are many, many books about pregnancy, fatherhood, and twins, but you don't say why your book will be different. As a publisher, THAT's what would make me pick up and read your proposal, not the fact that you happen to be the father of a set of twins (and definitely ditch the phrase, "as a father of 10 month old twins, I am more than qualified to write this book" because you obviously haven't raised twins just yet--you're working on the very beginning of it). So what sets your book apart from the other thousands of books about parenting new babies? What will you include (and give a few bullet points or specifics) that will make your book stand apart from the tried-and-true books like the What to Expect series, and Armin Brott's fatherhood books? Give an agent or publisher a teaser of what will make your book appeal to other dads more than what's currently out there.

I also have a problem with the title--while it's funny (kind of), it doesn't say anything about what the book is about. The subhead does, sure, but the book will be listed in databases under the head, and "Holy Crap!" is a pretty cheap thrill. I would recommend a title that alludes to your topic: something like "Double Dad" (or something far less lame but you get the idea).
Regarding your experience, I would skip the law stuff (it's not relevant here, is it?) and focus on your writing and journalism experience--that's what a publisher is interested in.

Anyway,hope this helps. Best of luck to you!
Nomad

RainBrain
09-08-2005, 01:52 AM
Hi Mark,
here's what I think about your query: it's well written, but doesn't offer me anything new. You explain that there are many, many books about pregnancy, fatherhood, and twins, but you don't say why your book will be different. As a publisher, THAT's what would make me pick up and read your proposal, not the fact that you happen to be the father of a set of twins (and definitely ditch the phrase, "as a father of 10 month old twins, I am more than qualified to write this book" because you obviously haven't raised twins just yet--you're working on the very beginning of it). So what sets your book apart from the other thousands of books about parenting new babies? What will you include (and give a few bullet points or specifics) that will make your book stand apart from the tried-and-true books like the What to Expect series, and Armin Brott's fatherhood books? Give an agent or publisher a teaser of what will make your book appeal to other dads more than what's currently out there.

I also have a problem with the title--while it's funny (kind of), it doesn't say anything about what the book is about. The subhead does, sure, but the book will be listed in databases under the head, and "Holy Crap!" is a pretty cheap thrill. I would recommend a title that alludes to your topic: something like "Double Dad" (or something far less lame but you get the idea).
Regarding your experience, I would skip the law stuff (it's not relevant here, is it?) and focus on your writing and journalism experience--that's what a publisher is interested in.

Anyway,hope this helps. Best of luck to you!
Nomad

nice advice here. i'll make sure i utilize this in my query

ChangeWorks
09-13-2005, 03:39 AM
I love the title of your book, especially the Holy Crap part! Well said for any new parent of twins or otherwise. I have two boys who are two and four-holy crap! As far as your querey goes, I'm not that experienced but it sounds like a great book. I think (No research to back this up) books on parenting for fathers are scarce. There are a lot of books on parenting but not much just for fathers and the their emotional experience. Good Luck!