Querying. Pitch. It’s the same thing. I honestly wondered what the heck a query was until I started Querying and made some fails of epic proportions. I didn’t realize how monumental it is but, your query letter is the singular letter that dictates your fate in the realm of creative insanity aka (querying/ pitch’s piled in the nooks and crannies of agents and publishing houses).
In order to sell your ideas whether it’s a book or something else. You must have passion and drive. That and it has to be perfect. As for what’s in a query/pitch, the very reason WHY someone must buy your book. They have to believe in it. Your readers have to believe in it. You must believe in it.
Conclusion you must have a conviction, now what your query actually needs,
- the main character, their goal(s), and the stakes against them
- a brief hook/pitch that can sum up your book in one line
- a summary of the plot but without the spoilers
- the genre, age category, and word count of the manuscript
- whether the manuscript is a standalone or a series
- They may ask for the first three chapters, first ten pages, etc. It depends on the submission policy
- One big thing to do is follow their instructions to a “t”
Now for my overdramatized query fails.
Fail one: It all started after I did my research on an unnamed publishing house. Supper Dupper exited I went on my merry way typing and backspacing until my hearts frustration. My first or tenth draft later I saved it and went to sleep.
The next morning: Only to find out instead of saving it, I had sent it to the unnamed publishing house. What makes it worse is the email had typos and other problems. Because it was my first query I was overthinking it and it was humiliating.
The next time I learned my lesson, kind of. This time I sent my beautiful query when I realized I sent it to the wrong publishing house.
Long story short, I learned to make sure not to be distracted or to overthink the letter. And it’s not about how many times you fail it’s about how you respond to your failure. Someone great said that sometime.