Today was the Agent Author Seminar of the Backspace conference. I’m pretty burnt out so I’ll just share the highlights…
- Less is more–shorter queries are better
- Query style should match project style
- If make comparisons to other books, deliver on it!
- Having a referral from a published author is really useful
- Finding an agent is like dating–you need the right fit.
- Titles are frequently changed by publishers
- Some agents like to know if this is the first book in a series, other not so much–can mention series potential in query
- Don’t use passive voice in queries
- Have a clear distinct voice that is to the point
- dazzle people
- Writing is rejected generally when the writing is not strong enough or the premise isn’t interesting
- Show did your research by mentioning why querying agent
- Never send attachments unless instructed to do so
- Be professional—No LOL in query
- Timing Is everything–right agent, right time, right place
- Getting first agent is harder than falling in love
FIRST 2 Pages TIPS:
- Don’t go panoramic and zoom in like movies. Weather, scenery, looks of protagonist don’t need to be there unless really relevant
- You don’t need to mention all 5 senses in one scene
- Writers don’t finish manuscripts, they abandon them.
- What is your book about–be clear concise and compelling. 3-5 sentence state what book is about.
- Goal=tell and sell it to audience
- protagonist, basic plot and catalyst
- So what? Who cares? what’s in it for me?
- Who was it about? What happens to him/her? What is at stake?
- Short sentences, punchy. Say each sentence with one breath
- Want people to hear it and get it