Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shop Talk Tuesday: Writing the Query

Let's talk about query writing.

If you didn't notice--or look yet--I updated my Books tab above with a blurb about my latest project.  Go check it out, I'll wait here.

*pipes in Jeopardy theme music*

I admit: I really dislike writing these things. I actually don't know anyone who loves to write them.  Some writers like them more than others (ahem, I'm talking about you, Terri Osburn).  But no one loves this part.

I think part of my problem is that I'm not really good at marketing, myself or my books.  I'm getting better, but it's hard. Selling something is a completely different skill set than creating something. These couple of paragraphs have to hook the reader. They need to take the inciting actions in the book and turn them into something that will make someone say, "I need to read this NOW!"  You only get a few sentences.  Actually, some would argue you only get one sentence. If the first sentence is boring, some people will stop reading. Probably many people.

No pressure, right?

I have learned a couple of things, though. The query doesn't have to tell the whole story.  It just has to give enough to be provocative.

It needs to say what starts the action and then hint at how they start to resolve it. This is good news. It means all you have to do is condense about 1/3 or 1/2 of your book into a few sentences.  That's much easier than condensing the entire book into a few sentences.

*eye roll*

I think it's also beneficial to get your voice in there.  A taste of what the reader can expect.

What have you learned about blurb/query writing?  Any pointers are helpful!

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