Author Topic: Successful queries  (Read 49274 times)

Offline Falthor

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Re: Successful queries
« Reply #45 on: June 01, 2016, 03:35:54 PM »
Should be in the anything goes board on here.
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Re: Successful queries
« Reply #46 on: February 19, 2017, 11:57:34 PM »
Here's mine! It got me 17 full requests and 3 offers of rep (and like gkcatz and sparklyunicorn, my word count has grown since. It's 78,000 words now):

Quote
Dear (Agent):

Nineteen-year-old Elise Jameson may live in a silent world, but that doesn’t stop her from hearing voices in her head.

Deafened and scarred in a freak accident when she was younger, Elise forgoes the probing eyes of her peers in favor of the characters she creates on her laptop. What started as a coping mechanism shockingly turned into a career when her novels hit the best-seller list. Society has since become obsessed with the books and their author, a striking girl on the back cover who bears zero resemblance to Elise. That’s exactly what she wanted when Elise sent the randomly Googled photo to her editor after only a minor panic attack.

When they begin filming a television pilot of her books starring heartthrob Gavin Hartley—a lickable God of a man who makes her tingle in all the right places—Elise is horrified to learn they expect her on set. Elise tracks down the anonymous girl from the back of her books and begs her to take her place in the spotlight. To her surprise, Veronica Wilde has spent years reaping the rewards of her fake writing career. She jumps at the chance to continue the charade and hires Elise as her “assistant”. However, Elise soon realizes it’s not easy to watch someone else live her life and get everything she desires, including the actor of her dreams.

As she finds herself edged further and further onto the sidelines, Elise reconsiders her choice to stay in the shadows. But revealing her true identity could come at the cost of her career, her fans, and what few precious friendships she has.

FLIRTING WITH FAME is a New Adult contemporary romance, complete at 69,000 words.

I have my Bachelor's Degree in English.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I love all your queries and want to read alllll the books!

All of the queries posted are good examples of effective queries. This one, though, strikes me as the best query I have ever read. Ever. And I've read zillions.

For one thing, the story is unique in its circumstances, but the fix Elise is in has universal elements most readers could translate to dilemmas in their own lives. You think you've fixed some problem, only to be propelled into an ever troubling one and faced with having to make a terrible choice.

Offline slightlysmall

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Re: Successful queries
« Reply #47 on: February 20, 2017, 04:12:37 PM »
Here's mine! It got me 17 full requests and 3 offers of rep (and like gkcatz and sparklyunicorn, my word count has grown since. It's 78,000 words now):

Quote
Dear (Agent):

Nineteen-year-old Elise Jameson may live in a silent world, but that doesn’t stop her from hearing voices in her head.

Deafened and scarred in a freak accident when she was younger, Elise forgoes the probing eyes of her peers in favor of the characters she creates on her laptop. What started as a coping mechanism shockingly turned into a career when her novels hit the best-seller list. Society has since become obsessed with the books and their author, a striking girl on the back cover who bears zero resemblance to Elise. That’s exactly what she wanted when Elise sent the randomly Googled photo to her editor after only a minor panic attack.

When they begin filming a television pilot of her books starring heartthrob Gavin Hartley—a lickable God of a man who makes her tingle in all the right places—Elise is horrified to learn they expect her on set. Elise tracks down the anonymous girl from the back of her books and begs her to take her place in the spotlight. To her surprise, Veronica Wilde has spent years reaping the rewards of her fake writing career. She jumps at the chance to continue the charade and hires Elise as her “assistant”. However, Elise soon realizes it’s not easy to watch someone else live her life and get everything she desires, including the actor of her dreams.

As she finds herself edged further and further onto the sidelines, Elise reconsiders her choice to stay in the shadows. But revealing her true identity could come at the cost of her career, her fans, and what few precious friendships she has.

FLIRTING WITH FAME is a New Adult contemporary romance, complete at 69,000 words.

I have my Bachelor's Degree in English.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I love all your queries and want to read alllll the books!

All of the queries posted are good examples of effective queries. This one, though, strikes me as the best query I have ever read. Ever. And I've read zillions.

For one thing, the story is unique in its circumstances, but the fix Elise is in has universal elements most readers could translate to dilemmas in their own lives. You think you've fixed some problem, only to be propelled into an ever troubling one and faced with having to make a terrible choice.

It is an excellent query. And it's out now! It's SO GOOD, and if it's possible, the sequel (which features Veronica Wilde) is even better.

Offline Rachael846

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Re: Successful queries
« Reply #48 on: April 24, 2017, 05:26:25 PM »
Kind of late on this, but thought I'd contribute here. This is the query I actually sent out. I think it's a little bit different from the one everyone liked in my query critique thread. Obviously my agent wasn't turned off by the query, but I don't actually know if it's what sold her on the concept. She's only ever mentioned how much she liked my first pages. (She asks for the first chapter with queries, but my first chapter is just one three page scene, so that's all she got from me.) So it might not be a great query, but it was good enough to get her to read the pages and then ask for the full, and then the manuscript did the heavy lifting.

I think the difference between what everyone liked and what I sent out was in the third paragraph, relating to the stakes. There was a sentence that flowed better but was more general, but I decided to err on the side of specificity. Like I said, I have no idea whether that mattered at all.

-----
Dear (Agent),

Fifty-two days ago, magically-inept Eliaga Hetzel was skipping school and considering joining the local rebels, while her sister, magically-gifted Yazelia, was dreaming about attending the continent's most prestigious university.

But that was fifty-two days ago—before the long-simmering civil war finally found its way to their doorstep, leaving their hometown in ruins after a devastating battle. With both armies desperate for fresh recruits, Eliaga knew the dangers her sister would face if they stayed. As they traveled through treacherous territory with other refugees by boat, dragon train, and on foot, her only goal was to keep Yazelia safe.

Now, the only valuable thing Eliaga has left is her own story. When a journalist offers to pay to hear it, Eliaga knows it's her best chance of keeping Yazelia's dream alive. But if she slips up and reveals the one part she can never share, not only will Yazelia's dream die, Eliaga could end up deported back to a war zone. Getting through the story won't be easy, not with all of the heartache and anger and magic threatening to boil over, but after everything that's happened, she's not going to let her sister down, not again.

RUIN AND REFUGE is a 91,000 word YA fantasy that combines the lush secondary worldbuilding of Marie Rutkoski's The Winner's Curse with the unreliable narrators and emotional twists found in Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity and Ruta Sepetys' Salt to the Sea. [One sentence of personal info.] Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Me
My Twitter and Instagram handles
the other usuals...address, phone, email

Offline Sarah Ahiers (Falen)

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Re: Successful queries
« Reply #49 on: April 25, 2017, 08:15:50 AM »
So it might not be a great query, but it was good enough to get her to read the pages and then ask for the full, and then the manuscript did the heavy lifting.

When I teach query classes the one thing I repeat over and over again is that the only job a query has is to get the agent to read the sample pages (or request pages if there are no samples.) So as long as it does that, it's an effective query.

All that said, I DO think this is a good query. Or at least I would read the sample pages if the query came to me.
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ASSASSIN'S HEART 2016 HarperTeen
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Offline Rachael846

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Re: Successful queries
« Reply #50 on: April 25, 2017, 05:03:47 PM »
Thanks guys. :) It was really helpful to read all of these when I was working on it. Hopefully someone else can learn from mine now.

Offline ejmccay

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Re: Successful queries
« Reply #51 on: August 11, 2017, 01:56:11 AM »
This is the query I sent out for an adult contemporary romance, Love in Reality.

Dear Agent:

Since you like romance, I think this might be right up your alley. Two broken hearts, and one sweet love story.

Dog groomer Penelope Cooper is happily single. The toilet seat is always down, and everything’s always where she left it. But her identical twin sister Paige thinks Penelope needs a little excitement. When she hears about the show Celebrity Proposal conducting a contest, Paige auditions as Penelope…and wins. Now, Penelope must play the game or her sister could face serious trouble.

Angus MacLachlan loved being Hollywood's hottest leading man until a bitter, high profile breakup with his agent—and subsequent bad behavior—soured audiences against him. Now he's got to charm everyone back into the theaters. What better way than a reality TV show where he supposedly falls in love? Instant image-fix and a great way to show the world he's back to being his charismatic, fun-loving self.

Penelope has no interest in Angus and the feeling is mutual; but ratings are ratings. Their on-screen fiery interactions leave the audience wanting more, and the producers seeing green. They’ve got twelve weeks of living together in a massive Montana lodge. And based on their interactions, the house isn’t big enough for the two of them.

LOVE IN REALITY is a complete Adult Contemporary Romance at 53K.

Per your guidelines I have pasted the first three chapters below.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.
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Offline mafiaking1936

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Re: Successful queries
« Reply #52 on: August 15, 2017, 09:39:38 AM »
If it's of interest to anyone, there's a post for successful queries in /r/pubtips: https://www.reddit.com/r/PubTips/comments/6slgyd/pubtip_agented_authors_post_successful_queries/

Offline Munley

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Re: Successful queries
« Reply #53 on: September 20, 2017, 01:16:18 AM »
So it might not be a great query, but it was good enough to get her to read the pages and then ask for the full, and then the manuscript did the heavy lifting.

When I teach query classes the one thing I repeat over and over again is that the only job a query has is to get the agent to read the sample pages (or request pages if there are no samples.) So as long as it does that, it's an effective query.

All that said, I DO think this is a good query. Or at least I would read the sample pages if the query came to me.


It's easy to lose sight of this one simple principle  -- what the query's job is. This is a good reminder. Thanks.

Offline JBeachum

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Re: Successful queries
« Reply #54 on: March 15, 2018, 09:40:30 PM »
[Agent],

I saw in your profile on WritersDigest.com that you have a passion for romance and angst. That immediately reminded me of my high school years, so I figured we'd be a great fit for each other.  I have written a book that combines the quirky comedy and love triangle goodness of the STEPHANIE PLUM novels with the mysteriously complicated, supernatural heroine elements of JESSICA JONES in NECROMANTIC, a 96,000-word paranormal mystery with romantic elements.
 
When Jesselyn -- a forever-twenty-seven-year-old necromancer -- spots her prey in a Manhattan night club, she assumes it’ll be like every other kill: a little flirting, a little teasing, and then a whole lot of vigilante justice. But after she murders her mark, who just happens to be a slick womanizing rapist, things get a little complicated. The body is found, the cops are called, and Jesselyn finds herself facing the slight inconvenience of a homicide investigation.

Oh, and she might have been caught on video. Thanks for nothing, drunk bachelorettes.

The cops aren’t a problem; Jesselyn’s been dodging cops for decades. And with the help of her new hacker friend, she can probably get her hands on that video before the police do. But the lead detective, a no-nonsense investigator named Cade Lane, is more perceptive than she’d like him to be -- and he seems to be spotting the holes in her alibi.

As Jesselyn continues to reanimate murder victims in order to identify and eliminate their killers, she must balance staying ahead of Cade with doing the unthinkable: falling for him.

More than anything, Jesselyn wants to break the curse that binds her to a life of killing, but doing so means facing the grievous sins that earned her that curse back in 1863.

She’s not ready to relive the mistakes of her youth in antebellum Mississippi, but a girl can only take so much of the law into her own hands, and at some point, Jesselyn will have to decide whether love or honesty is more important -- and whether she can truly have one without the other.

Writing has been my passion for a long time; that’s actually how I began my marketing career long ago -- moonlighting as a freelance copywriter while serving as an intelligence officer in the Air Force. Now, I’m a senior marketing consultant with a digital marketing agency in Alabama. Although it stands on its own, my hope is that Necromantic will be the first in a series, or at least the first of many novels in a long writing career. I have several other projects in the works currently, both fiction across multiple genres and nonfiction in two different areas.

I am querying other agents, and several are currently considering the full manuscript. I look forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards,

Joey Beachum

[Contact info]
Repped by Marisa Corvisiero of the Corvisiero Literary Agency

Offline Munley

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Re: Successful queries
« Reply #55 on: April 25, 2018, 09:12:29 PM »
Great query, JBeachum!
Congratulations on getting representation.  :up:

Offline pamelalpan

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Re: Successful queries
« Reply #56 on: April 09, 2019, 02:34:08 PM »
This is well-written. I love it!



I did have quite the alternative path but in the end my query was successful so here it is:

Dear


Don’t show fear. Don’t attract attention. Don’t forget who the monsters are. Those are seventeen-year-old Janneke’s three rules to surviving in the Permafrost. Her family is dead, her village burned to the ground, and now she’s a slave in a court of merciless goblins. Though her master, Soren, offers her a small sphere of protection, it comes at the cost of abandoning humanity and their ways for good.

When the Goblin King is defeated in a fight, it ignites an ancient competition to become the next King. The goal is simple: kill the sacred White Stag before the other goblins kill you. Soren sees it as the perfect opportunity to shape Janneke’s acceptance of the goblins’ way and give in to the hatred and violence festering inside of her.

Janneke’s only hope for survival is to outrun, outfight, and out-kill every creature in her path, all the while dealing with Soren, whose fierce desire for her to be a goblin is shadowed by his fascination with her human heart. Hunting the Stag is Janneke’s best chance at revenge over those who enslaved her, but to succeed, she’ll have to watch her humanity bleed out like the creatures she’s sworn to kill.

WHITE STAG is an 87,000 YA High Fantasy inspired by Northern Germanic folklore and the poem “ Der Erlkönig” by Johann Wolfgang van Goethe. It is a standalone with series potential that will appeal to fans of Sarah Ahiers’s ASSASSIN’S HEART and Sarah J. Maas’s A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES.

A first draft of the novel is on Wattpad.com where it has garnered over 120,000 hits, a large following, and a consistent rank in the top twenty fantasy books on the site.
Thank you for your time.


Thank you for your time and consideration. The first ten pages are below as per your guidelines.
Sincerely,

Kara Barbieri


Offline BeeJul

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Re: Successful queries
« Reply #57 on: May 06, 2019, 09:11:48 AM »
Dear AGENT,

I'm currently seeking representation for my first novel, TO TASTE THE STARS. Inspired by the true story of Veuve Clicquot, the book (complete at 105,000 words) traces five generations of women through the lead-up and immediate aftermath of two world wars as they turn their family business into the world's most glamorous house of Champagne. The story will appeal to readers of Kate Quinn's The Alice Network,  Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale, and Martha Hall Kelly's Lilac Girls. I hope you will agree that I'd make a good addition to your list.

When Marianne Talbotier’s father, the scion of France’s most prestigious house of Champagne, commits suicide in 1900, he leaves her mother Eleanor with a choice. Should she do what it is assumed she will and allow someone else to run the family business, or defy society’s expectations and take the reins herself?

With the help of her husband’s vintner, Eleanor accepts her new role as the head of Maison Talbotier. But the vintner is an abusive and bitter man, and when he violently attacks his own son, René, Marianne kills him while trying to save her friend. Bonded by the secret of the vintner's death, René and Marianne become each other’s closest confidantes. René doesn’t reciprocate Marianne’s desire for more, however, and so eventually, Marianne has a choice of her own to make. Widows may inherit property, but unmarried women cannot; to keep Maison Talbotier, Marianne marries a childhood friend, Viktor.

Viktor is German, though, and is expelled from France as World War I looms. When he returns as weinführer at the outbreak of World War II, bent on revenge and responsible for ensuring that Reims' best Champagne ends up in Nazi hands, Marianne is faced with one last choice: reconcile with Viktor and save herself from the hardships of occupation, or maintain her independence and risk his wrath?

For Marianne’s daughter Delphine, the decision is easy. Horrified to learn that her father is a Nazi, she organizes Reims’ Champagne producers in resistance. Working together with the other women of Maison Talbotier, Marianne and Delphine find that standing up for yourself doesn’t mean standing alone, and Marianne, Delphine, and Delphine’s baby daughter Aurelie survive to celebrate the end of the war.

I am a communications professional and a life-long Francophile, having spent several months surfing in Biarritz, cutting wild lavender on a mountainside farm outside Grasse, and studying at the Sorbonne. And while my French remains regrettable, I try to make up for it with my prodigious consumption of Champagne. 

Thank you for your consideration.