A geeky girl living in the big city, making her way, the only way she knows how... no wait, that's The Dukes of Hazzard. Who am I again? Oh yeah, a pop culture obsessed writer, publishing person, and occasional nerd. And I'm getting married. I talk about that, too.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Advice from an agent

From my query pile this morning, an extrapolated bit of advice:

Before you send out your query letter, read it aloud. Can you get through your mamouth first paragraph without wheezing for air? If not, consider sentence breaks. Consider them anyway. Reread the flap copy of some of your favorite books. Do you find yourself having to read the sentences twice to understand what's being said? Now compare that to your own query.

I wish I could post an excerpt from today's example, but it wouldn't be fair. Imagine the world's longest run on sentence and you'll start getting an idea.

Take that for what it's worth.

Also, appearing soon in sunny Los Angeles: A live version of "Advice from an Agent" at the SCBWI Summer Conference. I'd love my readers' help in prepping for my talk -- do you have any questions you desperately want answered about the business of publishing?

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3 Comments:

Blogger Lee said...

Is it true that sending a pound of salted halibut to an agent is the sincerest form of thanks? Enquiring minds must know!

5/21/2007 11:25 PM

 
Blogger ktbuffy said...

No, but I do acept all demoninations of alcoholic beverages. Also, chocolate.

5/22/2007 10:43 AM

 
Blogger DeAnna said...

Didn't Umberto Eco's agent receive salmon from him one time?

That doesn't count as an agenty question, by the way.

What grabs you most out of a query letter? Hook, plotline, characters, or something else? Which element(s) personally tend to win you over?

5/23/2007 7:45 PM

 

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