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Kelvin



Number of posts : 18
Registration date : 2010-08-17

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PostSubject: AGENT   AGENT EmptyThu Aug 19, 2010 2:24 pm

Hi,
My names are Kelvin O'Ralph. I really need a literary agent to help get my book to publishers. I have written various formats of query letters. I have visited over 10 different sites on how to write a query letter, but all to no avail. I still get rejections. Does it mean my approach wasn't good? My story isn't rich enough? I really need any useful help I can get, in getting an agent. I know how the writing world is difficult, and to make it like the big authors, it entails great hard-work. If anyone is interested in reading my recent query letter and offering his/her opinions/suggestion, I'll be more than grateful.

Kind Regards
Kelvin
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12618
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: AGENT   AGENT EmptyThu Aug 19, 2010 2:57 pm

Kelvin,

You have written a book that is better to you than anything you have read previously, including bestsellers by authors such as J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer. Most new authors feel the same way about their work. The characters you read about are not as real and vivid as the characters you create from your own imagination. The settings you read about are not as clear, and you are not the one driving the plots in works written by other authors. Inevitably, your own work seems to be better, more adventurous and interesting than anything you have read before.

Now, you have been given the task of writing a summary of your novel that will captivate readers and make them want to read your story. You are finding this very difficult. You think to yourself that, if only they would read the story, they would understand what it is you are trying to say. Unfortunately, they won't. It is this very inability to sell your own story that defines the real worth of the book you have written. This is the hard part of writing.

In Mr. Planemaker's Flying Machine, Emmelisa Planemaker is ten years old and she is finding life very difficult. She seeks help. She wants someone to tell her what to do so that she can make life better but the answers she receives force her to find the answers herself:


“What would you prefer to do?”
“Do I have a choice?” she asked unbelievingly.
“Everybody has a choice. You are the master of your own destiny. You can decide. You can be miserable while you wait for people to learn the truth. Or, you can make the Troublemakers miserable by being happy. Ignore the lies. Learn how to tolerate the interference and start fulfilling your ambitions. You do have ambitions, don’t you?”
“Ambitions,” Emmelisa repeated the word, “ambitions. Yes…I suppose so.”
“You do not sound very sure. Do you have anything planned for the future?”
“No,” Emmelisa replied.
“You thought this computer might help you?”
“Yes. I thought maybe I could find something that would make me feel better.”
“Like a bottle of medicine?” Mr. Spaceman suggested. “There are no magic potions for feeling happy or knowing what you want out of life. You have to work at being happy.”
“It’s too hard,” Emmelisa said despondently.
“Now, Emmelisa,” Mr. Spaceman said sternly, “you are giving up before you have even tried.”
“No. It’s just that you asked me if I had planned anything. I don’t know how to plan things.”
“Well, perhaps that is the question you should ask.”
“What?” Emmelisa thought aloud before the question came rushing into her mind. “I know the question. The question is—how do I plan my future?”
“Well done!” Mr. Spaceman beamed with a smile wide enough to fill the screen.
“Well,” Emmelisa said with slight irritation at this smug response, “what’s the answer?”
“The answer is inside this computer. You must find the file ‘My Future Life’ that your father stored in the memory of this computer before he died.”
The screen started to flicker as Mr. A. Leon Spaceman said, “Bye for now, Emmelisa. Remember, you are the master of your own destiny.”
Suddenly, the screen was as blank and lifeless as when she’d entered the room.

Chapter Nine Questions and Answers Mr. Planemaker's Flying Machine © 2005 by Shelagh Watkins.

You have to find a way of writing that query letter. When you can write a good query letter, you will be the writer you think you are.

_________________
AGENT 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ AGENT 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ AGENT 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ AGENT 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ AGENT 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ AGENT 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins
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Charmaine
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Charmaine

Number of posts : 21
Registration date : 2011-07-09
Age : 41
Location : Dudley UK

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PostSubject: Re: AGENT   AGENT EmptyMon Jul 11, 2011 5:56 am

wow great advice thanks so much! x Very Happy
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mburbaugh jr

mburbaugh jr

Number of posts : 13
Registration date : 2011-10-16
Age : 72
Location : El Paso, Tx

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PostSubject: Re: AGENT   AGENT EmptySun Oct 16, 2011 11:47 am

I feel the problem is you have to believe in yourself even more than you do your writing to find the creativity needed for the perfect Query letter.

Alas, I shall never craft one that is useful. My attempts would be a book unto itself.

I no-longer submit to anyone that requires a query letter as a condition of consideration. My writing speaks for itself or it doesn't. A few want a chapter or two which tells more about you than all the query letters in the world.

BUT: I applaud those few that can write one that grabs the attention of a pompous, overpaid and under-worked editor or screener. (By the way that is called a joke.) You only have a few visual scanning seconds to grab them by the shorts and say LOOK WHAT I HAVE THAT WILL MAKE YOU AND I RICH!

IMO of course.
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Karina Kantas
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Karina Kantas

Number of posts : 196
Registration date : 2008-01-19
Age : 45
Location : Corfu Greece

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PostSubject: Re: AGENT   AGENT EmptyMon Oct 17, 2011 4:20 am

I'm currently submitting to literary agents. I've been working on my query letter for the last week I think it's near perfect now. Well, I feel very confident about it.

It's hard because query letters don't come with chapters of your work, that comes after, if they want to see more. So you have to capture and hold their attention in just a few sentences and still make you and your book sound good. In that small letter ( half a page) you have to show your writing style. As it may be the only thing they read from you. If you've written a comedy make the letter funny, show your humor.

I got some great tips from this website. Please DON'T pay anything. Just check out his tips on how to write a query letter.


From other research I've done, and because of the huge change in the industry, it's not just about the book now. It's a about platform. You will have a better chance of landing an agent if you have regular readers, a fan base and an already established market place for your book. And it's not about having 100 people on your twitter account either.


Any how, I wish you all the best in your search. I start submitting today, so fingers crossed. I'll leave you with a link to this great website.

http://www.landanagentin7days.com/
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dkchristi
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dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: AGENT   AGENT EmptyMon Oct 17, 2011 4:53 am

I think it is becoming more difficult to get an agent because the expectations are rising. Authors now build a fan base (as you mentioned) and a record of ebook sales. They have a platform (presenting at conferences, etc.). Agents look for someone who will have sales appeal. It helps if you are a psychologist who regularly presents at meetings and has published papers and have now written an exciting fiction book.

Maybe as more and more people self-publish agents will get hungrier.
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: AGENT   AGENT EmptyMon Oct 17, 2011 9:46 am

The components of a query:

Query letter: A brief letter that describes the story and introduces the author. It includes the "hook," something in the letter that captures the interest of the agent or publisher to whom you are sending the query and makes them want to read the book.

Syopsis: A detailed description of the story, usually chapter-by-chapter through and including the ending. Two to five pages is usually what they ask for.

Partial mansuscript: Some number of pages or chapters of the book as specified in the agent's or publisher's submission guidelines. This should be in standard manuscript format:

Full manuscript: The whole enchilada in standard manuscript format.

(You can find discussions of standard manuscript format on the web.)

Which combination of these components you send and the medium in which you send them depends on the submission requirements. Some want paper. Some want electronic submissions. Some want everything in the body of the email. Some want attachments in a specified document format (.doc or .rtf, usually).

Start here:

http://www.publishedauthors.org/f20-query-letters
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LC
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LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

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PostSubject: Re: AGENT   AGENT EmptyMon Oct 17, 2011 9:57 am

Quote :
http://www.landanagentin7days.com/

That is a good site, and I like this in particular:

"No, you need to take it to the most objective, negative, nasty person you know and after they say it's amazing, then it's ready. In fact, take it to three objective people, who aren't related to you, who don't even know you and aren't afraid to tell you the truth. In fact, remove your name from the manuscript, use another name, a pseudonym, and ask them to read it. Then, you'll get the truth."

This is so true. People read everything through a filter, and when they have (or think they have) specific information on the writer, the filter adjusts, hence the critique adjusts. I have an excellent example of this which I'll probably work into my class syllabus sometime. When one of my publishers sent my manuscript out for review, two in particular looked me up, found different info, filtered that info, and gave diametric opposite reviews. Juxtaposed, their reviews are quite comical.

I also agree with DK's assessment that it really helps to bring an existing platform or sales to land an agent. I got my (non-fic) agent after already developing a body of non-fic published work.
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LC
Five Star Member
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LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

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PostSubject: Re: AGENT   AGENT EmptyMon Oct 17, 2011 10:16 am

Quote :
I'm currently submitting to literary agents. I've been working on my query letter for the last week I think it's near perfect now. Well, I feel very confident about it.

It's hard because query letters don't come with chapters of your work, that comes after, if they want to see more. So you have to capture and hold their attention in just a few sentences and still make you and your book sound good. In that small letter ( half a page) you have to show your writing style. As it may be the only thing they read from you. If you've written a comedy make the letter funny, show your humor

Karina, the same applies to trailers. I just viewed the one you posted on the Book Trailers board. The first half is spent telling, not showing (and "USA" is not a reviewer name), and has inappropriate music.

The second half is better, but folks with short attention spans won't get past the first.

I'm not sure what you are currently submitting to agents, but if it's that book, it's already published. You need to submit manuscripts to agents, not published books (with rare high-profile exceptions, like the ones who prove megasales from their own efforts).
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