Friday, August 14, 2015

Why the Query?

As Acquisitions Editor of the Rebecca Pratt Literary Group, I read this question all the time. Wouldn't it be easier for me to send my manuscript to your email?

Believe me, as an author and writer myself, I get it. You just wrote an entire novel, and the last thing you want to do is crunch it into a few paragraphs. However, the query is more important than you think.

Queries Save Time

This is an important reminder. Aspiring authors are never in short supply. Busy agencies receive hundreds of queries a month. Someone in my position, an acquisitions editor, needs a way to learn about your project in the most efficient way possible. The best way to accomplish a lot of work in a little time is with a query.

Queries Deliver Important Information

Agents work in partnership with authors towards one collective goal - to sell your work. In order to accomplish this feat, agents need to know about you in order to promote you, and in a format that enables your prospective agent to process your information easily.

Queries Show Important Skills

There is an additional reason for the query. Authors of novels, novels being the longest form of literature there is, must be able to master the art of writing their novels into shorter content.

When agents query publishers, they use a proposal format, which entails, guess what, "a query letter, a synopsis, a chapter-by-chapter outline, a final manuscript and a biography or CV as well as a marketing plan."

If you have trouble describing your novel in shorter, concise ways, then this is a skill you must master in order to proceed forward with many publishers. They need this content from you, because you know your work best.

Queries: Your Time-Saving Foot in the Door

The query is a crucial part of the process of selling your work. As distasteful as it can seem to condense your special novel into a few paragraphs, it's an indelible part of the publishing process. It's your vehicle to let your future agent know everything that is important and special about your novel and you.

We look forward to seeing yours!

Kirsten Schuder, M. S.
Acquisitions Editor - Rebecca Pratt Literary Group