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toomanycarbs
08-18-2012, 07:44 PM
I am querying an agent who requests a synopsis and the first two chapters with submissions. Do I have to include a full query letter with that as well then? A lot of the information in the query would be repeated in the first few paragraphs of my synopsis. I was planning to write just a short two to three line note stating that I am seeking representation for my novel, that it is romantic suspense, and the word count, and that per their guidelines I am including the full synopsis and two chapters.

The agent is Stephanie Evans at FinePrint if that matters at all.

profen4
08-18-2012, 07:59 PM
Just my opinion, but ... I've run into this before, and I used to send in a proper (full) query along with the synopsis and chapters, and I never had any trouble. But lately I've been giving a one or two line pitch in those kinds of queries. "Its a high-octane thriller about snakes on a plane." or, "It's a MG fantasy about a boy who gets an invitation to attend wizard school." And so far, I haven't had any trouble with that either.

When in doubt, though, I'd send in a query with a decent paragraph summary. Also, some books aren't high concept, and so it might be tough to sum up in a sentence.

Good luck.

toomanycarbs
08-18-2012, 08:26 PM
Thank you so much Profen4! I wrote a pitch within the message as you suggested, and I think it worked really well! Here is to hoping.

Little Ming
08-18-2012, 10:03 PM
When in doubt obey the submission guidelines.

http://fineprintlit.com/?page_id=8

So yes, you do send the query.

heyjude
08-18-2012, 10:50 PM
Yes, always!

lauralam
08-18-2012, 11:07 PM
Yes. I imagine agents read the query letter first and read onto the synopsis if they're interested.

J.Reid
08-19-2012, 07:52 AM
Yes you need to include a query letter. Each component has a different function. One does not replace the other even if there is some overlap.

1 A query entices the reader to read more. It gives a sense of the plot, at least the plot up to the first turning point. It shows what's at stake in a novel.

2. A synopsis shows that you've finished the book, that you don't veer off into urban fantasy in chapter 14, or change your main character's gender at the end to resolve a plot point. It's a recitation of key events. It's not designed to be enticing. It's sole purpose is informative.

3. The chapters show you can actually write.

Fail to include a cover letter and we have no sense of excitement about the book no sense of tension and certainly nothing enticing.

toomanycarbs
08-19-2012, 06:02 PM
Yes you need to include a query letter. Each component has a different function. One does not replace the other even if there is some overlap.

1 A query entices the reader to read more. It gives a sense of the plot, at least the plot up to the first turning point. It shows what's at stake in a novel.

2. A synopsis shows that you've finished the book, that you don't veer off into urban fantasy in chapter 14, or change your main character's gender at the end to resolve a plot point. It's a recitation of key events. It's not designed to be enticing. It's sole purpose is informative.

3. The chapters show you can actually write.


Fail to include a cover letter and we have no sense of excitement about the book no sense of tension and certainly nothing enticing.


Thank you for the feedback Janet. My "blurb" got a form rejection (not surprisingly after reading this.)

twiharder
08-19-2012, 06:50 PM
Thank you for the feedback Janet. My "blurb" got a form rejection (not surprisingly after reading this.)

Did you read the guidelines for that agent? She says clearly that she wants a query letter. I use the "blurb" queries all the time but only when the agent asks for a brief query. Ethan Ellenburg asked for a full off my last query and it was 8 sentences long including my bio. I konw in the UK most agents don't want more than a paragraph but in the US it seems agents often want a couple paragraphs.

Cyia
08-19-2012, 07:49 PM
In the UK, the standard is a cover letter and 3 chapters, not just a paragraph.

toomanycarbs
08-20-2012, 07:32 AM
Did you read the guidelines for that agent? She says clearly that she wants a query letter. I use the "blurb" queries all the time but only when the agent asks for a brief query. Ethan Ellenburg asked for a full off my last query and it was 8 sentences long including my bio. I konw in the UK most agents don't want more than a paragraph but in the US it seems agents often want a couple paragraphs.

I was going off of the guidelines I (mis)read for a different agent at that office in a magazine article, rather than what was on their website. I felt (mistakenly I am guessing now) that since so much of the beginning of my synopsis would be a repeat of the query, that it would be better to do the brief blurb and then get right to the synopsis. Ugh.

toomanycarbs
08-20-2012, 07:38 AM
Newbie growing pains :( Thanks so much for the great feedback guys

qdsb
08-20-2012, 07:47 AM
Live and learn! And I think FinePrint is NOT a "no from one = no from all" agency so you could re-query another agent there.