Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Short and Sweet



Remember a few posts ago I talked about how short query letters are the way to go (strictly my opinion, of course)? Well, my agent, Marlene Stringer, recently posted this on Twitter:

I'm seeing a lot of Qs with way too much backstory/setup.
twitter.com/MarleneStringer/status/3115953286025216

So it's not just me. You've got to remember when writing your query, leave just enough of a taste of that short and sweet to leave them wanting a little bit more. Skip the main meal and to straight to the dessert, the very best part! And hook 'em with that!


15 comments:

Karen Akins said...

It seems to be such a delicate balance. On the QT forums, I find myself drawn to the shortest queries...they're just easier on the eye if nothing else. But there's also a too-short line where it hops over to a confusing lack of information.

I'm curious--when you queried, did you send out multiple versions to compare responses or did you send out a single version?

Kristi Helvig said...

My short and sweet response is: I want those yummy-looking chocolates at the top of this post. :)

Carrie said...

Great advice. Thank you for posting this.

Charlie said...

I agree that shorter is better - not that I can base my opinion on experience.

Steph Damore said...

I'm sorry, what did you say? I was looking at the delicious strawberries :)

Liza said...

Thank you for the reminder.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great advice - thanks!

Bethany Wiggins said...

To answer KAren: I had many different versions of queries. It was the one with a three sentence pitch followed by a three sentence wrap-up that had the most success.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I prefer critting the short ones, too. But not the ones that are so short I have no idea what the book's about (of course the long ones can have the same issue).

lotusgirl said...

Yep. Short and sweet and right to the point seems to be the general consensus.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Shorter is better. It's a delicate balance.

And mmm... those chocolate-covered strawberries look divine!

Angela Felsted said...

Great picture. It sure hooked me. Too bad I can't taste it through the computer screen.

Janet Johnson said...

Great advice, but now I'm hungry . . .

Bethany Wiggins said...

Yes, the picture is worth a thousand words and a thousand calories. Pure torture.

Renae said...

Well said and like the others, I am now hungry!