Q is for Query

April 19, 2014 Tips for Writers 6


Before I really understood the purpose of a query letter or how to write one, I hated query letters. Most authors hate them. But after I started to research them, write them, learn what works and what doesn’t, I fell in love with query letters. I know, crazy, isn’t it? But there’s something really remarkable — to me — about being able to entice someone to read a 80K word book in only 250 words.

Regardless of whether you like them or not, they are a necessary evil. You’ll have to write one to get a literary agent or editor interested in your work. If you’re self-publishing, you’ll need a good blurb. The principals behind a good book blurb and a good query are essentially the same.

Because I adore them, I want to help anyone out there struggling. For free, I will critique any query letter sent to me (kimgraff . com @ gmail.com) or you can use my contact form.

Here Are A Few Rules/Disclaimers:

  1. I will be publicly critiquing them on my blog. If you send me a query letter to critique for free, you are giving me permission to publish it on my blog. I am willing to change character names/titles/leave your name out if you would like. I would recommend you sending me a bio so I can tell you my thoughts on it, but I will remove that from the version going on my blog if you’d like.
  2. am not a literary agent. I cannot assure you that your query letter will get a literary agent’s attention. I can, however, give you my opinion on what works and what does — and blog visitors will comment in order to help you to the best of their abilities as well.
  3. I cannot guarantee a speedy reply. I would like to critique one letter a week (at most). I will notify you that I received it and the potential date of the critique.
  4. For a private critique, please review my Critique Services. I have a Submission Package and Partial Package critique. Both packages include a query critique. However, if you would like simply a query critique, contact me and we can talk.

Query Tips:

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Freelance Editor at Wild Things Editing
I'm a designer, a freelance editor, a book blogger, and a YA writer represented by Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency. I am currently interning for Bree Ogden at D4EO. In the past, I've interned for P.S. Literary Agency, Astraea Press, and worked as a personal assistant for Best Selling author Gennifer Albin (Crewel). I offer critique services and create covers for authors. I am a member of the SCBWI, HWA, AWP, and HNS. You can find me on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and on YA Asylum. For further awesome publishing tips check out PS Literary's Twitter, Tumblr & Pinterest.

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6 Responses to “Q is for Query”

  1. Lexa Cain

    I hated queries until I tried to write a synopsis – then I learned what true pain was. lol Great tips, Kim! I always write the query blurb before I even start writing the book now. :)

  2. Melanie Stanford

    I did Q is for Queries too. Queries are such an iffy thing, I’ll definitely be emailing you mine, once I improve on it. I posted it in my A-Z post today and have already gotten some helpful tips. :)

  3. Stephanie Scott

    You pulled together some great resources! While there’s no perfect query, there are lot of basics we writers need to understand just to get our foot in the door.

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