There’s more to making books then writing words on paper. There’s editing, where shape and carve the words until they’re the best they can be. There’s marketing where the work is made attractive to others. The Query Letter is an integral part of the marketing process. A query letter, at least as I have begun to think of it, is a lot like a cover letter for a job. Its the vehicle that the writer can use to make a first on the agent or editor.
So how how do I write the perfect query letter? I need a hook. I need something to capture their attention. What would make them want to read my book?
my book is about an Elf who struggles with himself. He’s got a personality like fine wine, in small to moderate doses it can bring happiness and joy, too much of it though, and it can get him, and those around him, in trouble. The commencement of the story finds him as a conflicted Elf in a world of humans. He’s frightened, he’s frustrated, and maybe even slightly bitter. Like The Hero With a Thousand Faces, he’s pulled into something that is so much bigger than he is, he can barely grasp it. He fails, he learns, he succeeds and grows. I think what makes him unique is he gradually learns to take his weakness and turn it into strength. We meet him at the end of the story, and he has everything stripped from him, but he’s able to embrace what he once thought of as a weakness and turn things around, that makes him unique and relatable at the same time.
I think that one of the greatest things that people struggle with is understanding that the difference between weakness and strength are a matter of perspective. At the end of the story, my character realizes that but still understands that its a balance he must maintain for the rest of his life. If I can make people understand what is unique about him and make that come through in a query letter, I have a chance of attracting an agent.