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Jolly-Boo
12-02-2011, 06:13 AM
Hi,

I apologize in advance if this doesn't deserve a topic and could be found elsewhere, but I'll take a swing here.

I have a novel finished, and I'm currently writhing a query letter to this agent.
http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/DanielLazar/

However, reading through the net has got my mind in a fix, for the better, I think. The agent specifies:

** Please include the first 5 pages of your manuscript with your query letter. **

As he doesn't write that he wants a 2-3 page synopsis of the entire book, would I be correct to assume that he just wants a type of synopsis you'd see on the back cover of a back? Meaning, you don't reveal the ending, its done exactly as if it were a book, whereas in a 2-3 page synopsis you'd include all the important details, including the ending of it.

The Writher's House site say that they just want a synopsis, but this site says: (follow his submission guidelines on PM page (the link avove) -- not agency website)
http://www.agentquery.com/agent.aspx?agentid=37

Basically, I'd start with Mr, Lazar - write a 25 word pitch, an addition of 150 words synopsis that catches his eyes - and maybe somewhere down the lane, he'd actually ask for a full, or maybe the 2-3 page synopsis pages.

Sorry if this is long, but I'm very new to this and ... would be a very big screw up if he expects 3 pages and I deliver 175 words.

Thank You.

rainsmom
12-02-2011, 07:30 AM
It looks like Daniel Lazar isn't asking for a synopsis. He wants a query and the first 5 pages of your manuscript. The query would include a pitch, which, no, does not include the ending. Read the query letter samples here on the site.

The first 5 pages of the manuscript will be pasted into the email. They should be single spaced with an extra space between paragraphs.

I *strongly* recommend that you participate on the site until you have 50 posts and then run the query letter through Share Your Work before you start sending it out. You get only one chance per agent, so you don't want to send it out until it's perfect.

Jolly-Boo
12-02-2011, 07:45 AM
Thank you =D

This puts my mind at ease. Felt like I might have been spending several days doing the wrong thing.

And I'll definetely post my query letter here for review.

Tromboli
12-02-2011, 07:54 AM
When you say synopsis (in the query) I assume you mean just a summary of your novel which is essentially correct, but as you said it is different from a full synopsis (which varies in length. Some agents prefer just one page, some longer.)

Some agents want you to reveal the ending (I've heard this more than once, but then again it probably wasn't straight from an agent), but I think the most widely preferred way to query is to give enough information about the book (Character, setting, main conflict) to interest the agent.

Make them want to read more. That is the job of a query letter.

They are tricky beasts, even if you have a great premise. So as rainsmom said, do your research (read as many queries as possible) and post in SYW when you think you have it down. Getting another perspective, especially from people who have read their share of queries, is invaluable. Good luck.


P.s. this is one of my favorite links about queries. It is a list of sucessfull queries posted by agents. The original blog, I'm guessing, was bought by Writers Digest, but it's still the same for the most part. http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/successful-queries

Jolly-Boo
12-02-2011, 06:59 PM
I got the words wrong. What I meant by a synopsis in a query, I meant what Rainsmom said - the pitch. As if you were looking at the back cover of a book. So that should fit within one page as most prefer, so I doubt he's expecting me to write a full synopsis page, much less reveal the ending within 170 words.

Most query are like that, so that's probably what he wants. I've read that some hate it when you don't reveal the ending and try to make them want to read the whole, but I'm pretty sure they are referring to a 2-3 page synopsis, rather than a pitch.

I've researched the agent throughout, and while he mentions a hook, he never mentions much else. I'm still undecided on whether I should start with a short introduction on why I'm contacting him, or go straight towards the hook/pitch.

That link is great! Thank you. This one was really great. Reveals very little and yet you understand at the end that the dream will cause some troubles for her or whatnot.
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/successful-queries-agent-michael-bourret-and-wake

Terie
12-02-2011, 08:26 PM
I've researched the agent throughout, and while he mentions a hook, he never mentions much else. I'm still undecided on whether I should start with a short introduction on why I'm contacting him, or go straight towards the hook/pitch.

You're over-granulating the issue. He wants a query and the first five pages of the manuscript. A query is a query is a query. It sounds to me as if you're unclear on what a query letter is. It's a basic business letter composed of the following:

Greeting.
Introductory paragraph.
A one- or two-paragraph pitch.
A statement of what you've pasted in below (in Mr Lazar's case, the first five pages of the manuscript, but this will vary from agent to agent, depending on their guidelines).
A paragraph of your publishing history, if applicable.
Closing, including your contact details.

Your hook is usually in the pitch part of the query, or it can be in the introductory paragraph. It's not a separate piece that can stand on its own.

As others have said, you might want to wait until you get your post count up to 50 and then post your query letter to Query Letter Hell. A good way to get your post count up is to go explore QLH and comment on others' queries. Reading others' queries and the feedback they get will be a terrific learning experience for you.

Jolly-Boo
12-02-2011, 09:26 PM
A query is a query is a query. It sounds to me as if you're unclear on what a query letter is. It's a basic business letter composed of the following:


I know how to write a query letter (except I got confused), but many people were calling the "A one- or two-paragraph pitch," a synopsis, and as I started reading up on that, that's where I got lost. Luckily I have been writhing the proper 1 page query letter all along.

I just have a tendency to over think. And when I do, little makes sense.

I'll submit it. Thanks =D

EDIT: Thanks Tromboli.

Tromboli
12-02-2011, 09:33 PM
Good luck.