You are now entering the world of my thoughts.

This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 SN Taylor, All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 8, 2013

Aura Blog Tour: Guest Post: Query Do's and Don'ts

Query Letters 
Do's and Don'ts  
Rebecca Talley, Author of, Aura 

The purpose of a query letter is to ask a prospective editor or agent if he might be interested in reading your work. The query letter needs to pique the interest of the editor or agent so that he will ask to read more. 

In the first paragraph, you want to hook the editor or agent. Make every word count. Don’t over-hype your work, but pull out the most interesting aspects to include in the hook. Make that editor or agent want to call you and insist that you send him your manuscript at once. Work on your hook until it successfully communicates the gist of your story in the most appealing way possible, usually in about five sentences.

In the second paragraph, include the specifics about your book such as title, word count, target market, if it is a series, and that it is complete (fiction manuscripts need to be complete before querying).   

In the third paragraph, you'll want to add your previous publication credits, especially if they are similar to what you are submitting. You can also include memberships in professional organizations like SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). If you have no publication credits, simply skip this part, but do not call attention to your lack of credits.

In the last paragraph, you want to call the editor or agent to action by asking if he would be interested in reading the entire manuscript. Include a request such as, "May I interest you in reading my manuscript?" This is a very important part. Make sure you have included correct contact information. Then close the letter with an appropriate thank you and your name.

Be sure to follow the editor's or agent's guidelines posted on their websites or included in directories. Some prefer only email queries while others will only read print ones. Some will accept either form. If you don't follow the guidelines, your query will most likely be deleted without the editor or agent even reading it. 

Keep the query short and professional.

Do not include praise from your mother or the lady that lives down the street. Do not include a full synopsis of the story.
Do not put in any false information about yourself or your book. Do not "butter up" the editor or agent with insincere praise.
Do not send a query with spelling mistakes or improper grammar.

Study effective query letters and be sure to have trusted readers look over your query before you send it.  
The query letter represents you and your work. The goal is to entice an editor or agent so make sure your query letter is the best it can possibly be.
 Rebecca Talley
Fiction Inspired by Life


"I half-turned to her and shrugged, still processing what I'd seen, or at least what I thought I'd seen, in Ms. Neal's eyes—like they weren't hers. Obviously, they were her eyes, but it looked like she'd plucked them from someone else's head. A dead someone else's head."

In the fight between good and evil, Light is your only weapon.

Crystal Scott finally feels like a normal teenager. She has a lead in the high school play, a best friend, and a gorgeous boyfriend. With prom only a few days away, Crystal’s ordinary life seems perfect.

Endowed with great Light because of her virtuous choices and her inherent gifts, Crystal’s aura has become visible to those with the ability to see auras. Unfortunately, her power has also attracted the attention of demons intent on destroying all Light.

When Vincent Crandall, the human host for a powerful demon, discovers that Crystal’s Light is strong enough to disrupt the connection between demons and their hosts, he realizes she may be able to sever the connection altogether. Determined to stop her from interfering with his plans to rule the world, he sends operatives to neutralize her Light.

After the operatives fail to disable Crystal, Vincent decides he must harness her power for himself. He kidnaps her parents, and Crystal is thrust into battle against a demon army she didn’t even know existed. With the help of a mysterious young man and his mother, Crystal must learn to use the power within her before Vincent kills her parents and exploits her Light.

                                               About the Author: Rebecca Lynn Talley
Rebecca Lynn Talley grew up in the gorgeous seaside city of Santa Barbara, CA. She met, and married, her husband, Del, while attending Brigham Young University. She graduated from BYU with a degree in Communications. She currently lives in rural Colorado on a small ranch with a dog, too many cats to count, and a herd of goats. She and Del are the proud parents of ten wildly-creative, multi-talented children.

Rebecca is the author of a children's picture book, Grasshopper Pie (WindRiver 2003), a children's chapter book, Gabby's Secret (DuBon Publishing 2011), four novels, Heaven Scent (CFI 2008), Altared Plans (CFI 2009), The Upside of Down (CFI 2011), and Aura (DuBon Publishing 2012). She has also authored numerous children's stories and articles for both print and online magazines.


Rebecca Talley said...

Thank you so much for hosting my book tour!

Karen Strong said...

Great advice. Love how Rebecca breaks down the paragraph into steps.

Thanks for sharing Saba. :)

Member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators