I queried twenty agents regarding my latest book then remembered Query Shark, Janet Reid’s blog where she publicly critiques queries submitted by her readers. Think Simon Cowell. The critiques are entertaining and pointed, and sometimes bellicose. At day’s end, they smack of truth. I asked myself, what’s a little public humiliation if it gets me a book deal?
She requires submissions to come with the promise the author read the entire archives, A-Z, so she’s not critiquing the same issues ad infinitum. So I’m chipping away. I’ve gotten from #251 to #171. I reckon I’ve got two solid weeks of reading ahead. In the meantime, I thought I’d savage my query in advance, as a way to apply what I’ve learned.
I should note I used Michael Hyatt’s Ebook on developing a fiction proposal as a template. Hyatt is the former CEO of Thomas Nelson. As such, he’s no slouch and his opinion means something. A lot of something. But Janet’s advice seems to produce shorter, more informal, and perhaps more arresting queries. If I end up sending this query to Thomas Nelson, you can bet your eye tooth I’ll use Hyatt’s template. But I do want to see what the Query Shark strategy does to my query.
Without further ago, here’s my query and how I think Janet would respond to it’s current condition. Continue Reading…