Sunday, June 21, 2009

Query Letters, an art unto itself

All the reports are coming in negative. Every letter opened is a pre-printed rejection, what could be going wrong for me. It's hard to tell with these pre-printed things.

I did get one piece of (at least partialy) personalised feedback though. And, summed up it was "Your query letter did everything possible to prevent me from liking your book". It wasn't pleasant reading, but necessary, very necessary.

The email described how the agent progressed from the cover letter, onto the synopsis and then finally into the manuscript itself. At each step she felt clueless about the book because, and I'm realising it now, my letter does expect somebody to read through it thoroughly. It's effectively the first part of the book with a synopsis at the end to describe how the rest of it goes down.

I don't think that's what they are looking for. Or, at least, it's not the most effective way of presenting my work. Of course, I had done a lot of research before I wrote the thing and I had decided on "keeping it simple", but I think I might have gone a bit too spartan. I should allow the reader some comfort.

So, it's a case of revisiting it again, this time to add content while keeping it to the point. I'll get there eventually, and feedback like this brings me one step closer.

1 comment:

  1. Eoghan,

    I believe you.

    Remember, you said that the path of love was long and hard. It works for writing.

    My Irısh friend,
    still love,