I was just wondering. When you write a query letter do you put how your book ends in there or leave it out hoping the agent might want to see more? I've read 2 different opinions on this but no idea which was the correct one. I've also seen multiple suggestions of the lengths of a query letter. Anyone have what works for them? I don't want too long but don't want it so short it doesn't give enough info to pique someone's interest! Also, is it good to put in there that there is a sequel to your book? Thanks.
Posted 04 November 2017 - 03:47 PM
For queries you don't put the end of the book; generally you're focusing on no more than the first quarter to third of your book. You can think of it kinda like the blurb on the back cover of a book in terms of what it's covering, although there are some stylistic differences between the two. However, if you are writing the synopsis, which some agents do request, that is where you want to include your entire story, ending included. So that might be where the confusion has arisen. In terms of length, you're shooting for something preferably no more than 250 words, 300 at the absolute maximum. It is fine to include that your book can have sequels, something like "AWESOME BOOK TITLE is an 80,000-word sci-fi novel with potential for sequels", but don't focus too much on it, because the agents won't really care about the sequels if they don't care about the first book itself.
Parent site AgentQuery.com has more information about how to write a query. They lay out the things I've said here plus more, so if you haven't read their thing, then I would start there: https://agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx
Nothing to reciprocate on right now; I'm off in the query trenches.
Posted 04 November 2017 - 08:11 PM
I had read that and about 25 other sites talking about them. I've found there is about only one constant between them all - this letter is far harder to write than my book was.
Posted 09 November 2017 - 09:55 AM
QUERY LETTER: up to two-thirds of book (not an exact science), but never give the ending away, or terrific twist (unless it comes early). There are lots of parts to a query letter (eg brief bio, writing credentials), but in terms of the hook and book summary - the combined word-count shouldn't be over 250 (ideally 150-200).
SYNOPSIS: Tell everything including the ending (word-count ideally 500 to 700)
Reiterating what Inloft says, but I know it will help you to hear the same opinion coming from more than one person...
Please critique my query, and I will return the favour!
Posted 09 November 2017 - 01:53 PM
Thank you both for your replies. I really appreciate you taking your time to do that. There are so many sites out there and each one seems to have a different take on what to do. The one great thing about this site is it's actual writers giving their advice - those who have been there, are still there and in some cases have cracked the 'code' on being successful. Thanks!
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