The Query: Putting it all together

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Just a quick post today.  Here’s what my query letter looked like all put together when I sent it to my agent.
Dear Natalie Fischer(SALUTATION:  REMEMBER TO PERSONALIZE THIS HERE.  DO NOT MASS EMAIL.  SEND TO ONE AGENT AT A TIME!!)
You’d think imagining a handsome stranger in your rearview mirror, crashing through a guardrail, careening into murky waters, and then being rescued by the same imaginary boy–who gives his name as Jackson–would be bad enough. But for seventeen-year-old Lily Baker, that’s just the start of her problems. (HOOK:  GRAB THE READERS ATTENTION)
After coming home from the hospital, Jackson starts showing up in reflective surfaces — mirrors, puddles, windows, you name it. Lily, fearing others will think she’s crazy, keeps the visions to herself. After all, they’ll just go away if she ignores them, right? Not if Jackson has anything to say about it. And it isn’t long before he convinces her he’s real. The more time she spends staring into her mirror, the more she realizes she’s falling in love with a boy her family and friends insist is nothing more than shadows in her mirror and the hallucinations of her healing head injury.  (SYNOPSIS:  EXPLAIN ENOUGH OF THE BOOK TO GET THEIR INTEREST.  END ON A HOOK)
MIRROR IMAGE is a science fiction romantic young adult novel, complete at 83,000 words. With a mix of Alice In Wonderland, The Phantom of the Opera, and Romeo & Juliet, this is a story of love that knows no bounds. Time, space, even the very fabric of reality cannot stop it.  (BOOK DETAILS)
My young adult book, under the working title FALLEN, has been offered a contract from XXX. We are currently undergoing negotiations. I am a member of the RWA and CFRW.  (PERSONAL BIO)
(PERSONALIZATION WOULD NORMALLY GO HERE)
Per your guidelines, I have enclosed a synopsis and the first 50 pages.  Thank you for your generous time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.  (TELL THEM WHAT YOU ARE INCLUDING AND THANK THEM FOR THEIR TIME.)
Sincerely,
(MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION.)
         As you can see, it’s pretty easy. Mostly.  😀
         Here’s some fantaboulous resources to help you. 
         Absolute Write
         Query Tracker
         Agent Query
         And my own agent’s template. 
         I’ll add more agent’s onto this as I find them, so check back throughout the day.

6 Responses to “The Query: Putting it all together”

  1. Liz Czukas says:

    >Oh sure–simple as that LOL.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom and personal experience, Jess. This has been really valuable.

    – Liz

  2. Kristan says:

    >Haha, okay, now I want to read this book! If I claim to be an editor, will you send me your ms?! 😛

  3. Sandy Shin says:

    >Thank you for doing this query series and sharing your query letter with us. This has been VERY informational!

  4. Elle Strauss says:

    >Great query letter! I can see why any agent would want to read more.

    Can you explain the part where you are already negotiating a contract?

  5. jasouders says:

    >@Liz, yeah, it's not that easy to fill in the part about your book. I don't know how many times I wrote a query for MI and then tossed the idea.

    @Kristan. SURE! LOL.

    @Sandy. Thanks! I'm glad you found it useful

    @Elle. At the time I had a ms that was offered a contract from another (smaller) publisher. The contract negotiation never worked out, because my attorney felt the contract wasn't author friendly to put it bluntly and when I signed with Natalie I decided not to go with the publisher.

  6. Chrissy says:

    >I thought this was fantastic! Your advice is amazing. And I will remember all these tips for my next query letter. Thanks for sharing.