PDA

View Full Version : Advice for an inspirational novel query letter



stargazer11
07-01-2012, 03:43 AM
Hello everyone,

I am hoping someone can assist me. I read a lot of queries from the query letter hell forum, and noticed a lack of inspirational queries. After doing a refined search, someone did mention that a query letter for an inspirational/Christian novel may be different from the standard YA, or literary fiction query. I tried doing a search through 'Yahoo' to see if I could find a good example of an inspirational query, but came up short. I do plan to post my query on the query hell forum, but I am still trying to get up to 50 post so I can do that.

Is there any advice from any agent they can give me when it comes to this type of query? I consider my story an inspirational novel about a man who has problems in life, only to find out in the end his problems are a result of autism. Spirituality and faith also plays a small role.

Any advice from an agent on how to craft this type of query, or even a link to another site will be helpful.

Thanks...

jclarkdawe
07-01-2012, 04:59 AM
You're sort of close to the line here at working around the fifty post limit, but let's expand this a bit and look at working on niche fiction. Christian literature is a very large niche market, but another niche (although becoming less so) would be steam punk.

Realize that there is going to be limited queries available for study in a niche. Makes sense since a niche is a small portion of the total market and there just aren't as many readers, writers, publishers, et cetera. There's also going to be a limit to book blurbs you can look at as well, because of the smaller size.

Starting point to ask yourself for a niche is whether agents are likely to be interested in the niche. Many niches allow direct submission to the publishers so there's less need of an agent. If you're finding that most of the published books in your niche don't have agents, then you know you're going to be submitting directly to publishers.

Submitting to publishers is actually easier then agents, because a publisher will have a catalog. If you look at the catalog, you'll be able to see how the publisher ties together their product line and by reverse engineering from there, you can tell what they're looking for. (I didn't say this was going to be easy, but I'll give you a hint for Christian literature -- it's what is the inspirational message.)

What you need to do is figure out what causes books to sell in the niche market, beyond the fundamental of a good story, and figure out how to market your book to that factor.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

quicklime
07-01-2012, 07:04 AM
stargazer,

How far back in qlh did you look? I tend to avoid inspirational or christian-themed queries, but at the same time I want to say I skip one every couple weeks then....

Browse the titles only of the first 15 pages in QLH and I would almost bet you that you find at least five.

stargazer11
07-02-2012, 12:01 AM
Okay, I will check glh again and take a closer look. thanks

quicklime
07-02-2012, 12:31 AM
fwiw, I did a quick search by query letter hell only, keyword "Christian" and pulled a ton of threads....maybe 10% were actually Christian, the rest simply mentioned the term at some point, BUT that still narrows down what you have to sift through.

Little Ming
07-02-2012, 02:54 AM
Hello everyone,

I am hoping someone can assist me. I read a lot of queries from the query letter hell forum, and noticed a lack of inspirational queries. Depends what you mean by "inspirational" since I don't think that is a genre. After doing a refined search, someone did mention that a query letter for an inspirational/Christian novel may be different from the standard YA, or literary fiction query. no more different than say a horror novel is to a romance is to a fantasy is to erotica is to a memoir... Every genre has its own specific rules, but most novels still follow the same basic rules of having an interesting main character, a coherent plot and competent writing skills. I tried doing a search through 'Yahoo' to see if I could find a good example of an inspirational query, but came up short. I do plan to post my query on the query hell forum, but I am still trying to get up to 50 post so I can do that.

Is there any advice from any agent they can give me when it comes to this type of query? I consider my story an inspirational novel about a man who has problems in life, only to find out in the end his problems are a result of autism. Spirituality and faith also plays a small role.

Any advice from an agent on how to craft this type of query, or even a link to another site will be helpful.

Thanks...

I'm not an agent, but the advice that I give in QLH is that whatever genre or element exist in your novel needs to show in your query. Horror writers don't get to end the query with "BTW, this is really scary." Humor writers don't get to say, "And also this is really funny." If something is scary of funny it needs to show in the writing. If your novel is "inspirational," then it needs to show in your writing.

stargazer11
07-03-2012, 05:28 PM
Thanks again... Once I get up to 50 post's I will post my query on qlh. Hopefully I can get get good advice...

Thanks

quicklime
07-03-2012, 05:33 PM
Thanks again... Once I get up to 50 post's I will post my query on qlh. Hopefully I can get get good advice...

Thanks


You can get GREAT advice. The forum has a pretty good track record of accepted queries. Thing is, you get to determine how much of that advice you put into practice, and a lot of folks choose to ignore that great advice....

stargazer11
07-04-2012, 10:32 PM
Thanks quicklime. When I post my query, I hope I dont come across a roadblock. Meaning, whose advice should I follow and whose should I skip over. I expect everyone to chime-in with advice, it's a matter of, whose advice do I follow.