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Author Topic: Last Minute Questions on query letters  (Read 248 times)
atwhatcost
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« on: September 05, 2017, 10:43:08 AM »

I've got the list of the first ten agents I want to send my query, and now all the "holy crap! No one every teaches me this stuff" is hitting big time.

A. Signing the e-mail?
1. Is "Sincerely," included at the close of business emails?
2. Everyone calls me Lynn. It's my nickname. I reserve my legal name for the IRS and checks. Eventually, my agent will learn my legal name, but I'd rather be Lynn to her. (Or him.) Okay to use Lynn?
3. What contact info do I include? I'm guessing my phone number, but it seems dumb to add my email address, since I'm sending it through email. Do they want my city and state too? Am I missing anything?

B. For those who also want first ten-pages/three-chapters? Do I reformat for the e-mail? I do have the title and pen name on the ms in the middle of that first page. (At least I know, not to stop in mid sentence or mid paragraph.) Page numbers, headers, etc.? I do get I will have to put spaces between paragraphs, but please tell me they don't want the whole thing double-spaced, even in email.

C. (And this is just checking if I'm getting this part right.) Title of email -- "Query" Agents name, and title of ms? If it's an #MSWL request, do I include that too?

D. Does anyone have a brown paper bag? I'm almost to hyper-ventilating.  crazy
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gushags16
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2017, 11:37:01 AM »

A.
1. I use Best regards. Sincerely would be fine. Only thing I'd hesitate to use would be "Later gator."
2. Use Lynn.
3. I sign off like this:

Best regards,
My Name

27533 XXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXX, CA 91XXX
(XXX) 75X-XXXX
XXX@gmail.com
Twitter @XXXXXXX


My full address, phone number, email (yes), and my twitter handle. If you're crazy active on tumblr or instagram and want to put those on, I'd say do it.

B. When I include pages in the email, yes, I do double space them. An easy way to do this, if you use gmail, is to get your first ten pages and your first three chapters into a google doc. Format it the way you want, italics, underlines, tabs, double space, etc. You only have to do this once. Then, when you need to paste into an email, open up that google doc and copy that one rather than the one you created in Word or whatever other program you use. Google Doc files paste in identically when pasted into gmail.

If you don't use Gmail (I'm specifically talking about the Gmail web interface), it still might work. But I've never tried it.

C. For the SUBJECT of the email, the standard format is:

CATEGORY Query: ALL CAPS TITLE

So it would be YA Query: AMONG THE RED STARS
-or- MG Query: TITLE

If it's an adult novel, I think the format is to assume adult and use the genre. So you would write:

SF Query: TITLE      (Sci-Fi)
LF Query: TITLE      (Literary Fiction)
SFF Query: TITLE    (Sci-fi Fantasy)

Of course, if an agent asks for something specific, like including the agent's name in the subject, you should follow those directions.

For #MSWL some agents ask you to put it in the subject. For me, when I've used it, I've added a line before my query starts. Something like: "My story meets your #MSWL of September 1, 2017 ("Love to see a strong warlock who also loves pocket pigs") because my main character (a wizard) was raised in a barn by a family of pigs."   

D. You got this.
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2017, 11:51:03 AM »

Everything Gushags said!
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atwhatcost
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2017, 02:42:12 PM »

A.
1. I use Best regards. Sincerely would be fine. Only thing I'd hesitate to use would be "Later gator."
2. Use Lynn.
3. I sign off like this:

Best regards,
My Name

27533 XXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXX, CA 91XXX
(XXX) 75X-XXXX
XXX@gmail.com
Twitter @XXXXXXX


My full address, phone number, email (yes), and my twitter handle. If you're crazy active on tumblr or instagram and want to put those on, I'd say do it.

B. When I include pages in the email, yes, I do double space them. An easy way to do this, if you use gmail, is to get your first ten pages and your first three chapters into a google doc. Format it the way you want, italics, underlines, tabs, double space, etc. You only have to do this once. Then, when you need to paste into an email, open up that google doc and copy that one rather than the one you created in Word or whatever other program you use. Google Doc files paste in identically when pasted into gmail.

If you don't use Gmail (I'm specifically talking about the Gmail web interface), it still might work. But I've never tried it.

C. For the SUBJECT of the email, the standard format is:

CATEGORY Query: ALL CAPS TITLE

So it would be YA Query: AMONG THE RED STARS
-or- MG Query: TITLE

If it's an adult novel, I think the format is to assume adult and use the genre. So you would write:

SF Query: TITLE      (Sci-Fi)
LF Query: TITLE      (Literary Fiction)
SFF Query: TITLE    (Sci-fi Fantasy)

Of course, if an agent asks for something specific, like including the agent's name in the subject, you should follow those directions.

For #MSWL some agents ask you to put it in the subject. For me, when I've used it, I've added a line before my query starts. Something like: "My story meets your #MSWL of September 1, 2017 ("Love to see a strong warlock who also loves pocket pigs") because my main character (a wizard) was raised in a barn by a family of pigs."   

D. You got this.
Whew! Thanks!

Suddenly I don't feel like I need that brown bag quite as much! Smiley
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