This was a strange group of queries. There are some exceptions, but there were a lot of queries that had me scratching my head. At the risk of preaching to the choir:
- Make sure your query actually names your main character. (Don't just say, "This novel tells how the main character...")
- Rather than paste in a paragraph excerpt, tell what the novel is about then paste your first pages in below the query.
- I don't want to read your "best scene" in those 5-10 pages below the query. I want to read from the beginning just like an editor and a reader would.
- Start with your main character and the book, not what inspired you or how much money you will make me
Of the 214 queries...
I regrettably passed on 2 manuscripts that sparked my interest at first
A contemporary YA with a really cool title sucked me into the premise, but the voice didn't grab me
A historical adult ms with romantic elements. I liked the query and the beginning a lot, but as I kept reading the pages it started to lose me. I didn't connect with the characters so I passed.
I requested 3 manuscripts
A YA epic fantasy that had a great query and a catchy voice
YA contemporary with a really good query, good pages, and an offer (already!)
MG historical with a really cool premise and great writing