Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Ten Point Query - QUERY LETTER SUCCESS



Judging a query letter, like in many Olympic sports, may appear subjective at best, so I've created the Ten Point Query to help you reach for the perfect score (and agent!). These are all based on my list of query letter best practices.

THE TEN POINT QUERY
1. Stick to what works (query format)
2. Find your voice
3. Focus on characters that matter
4. Start in the action
5. Deliver on conflict
6. Be specific
7. Show, don't tell
8. End with a bang
9. Make it easy to read
10. Omit needless words

I've provided additional detail on these ten points at querylettersuccess.com. Submit your query letter for a free review to see if you're ready to submit to your favorite agent. I will edit, score, and publish the results for free. All scores are based on the Ten Point Query method. You get one point for successfully incorporating each principle of the Ten Point Query throughout your query letter. No partial credit is given.

My service is similar to the one provided by Query Shark, except I won't be selective about whose query letter I review. You submit it--I'll review it. The other main difference is that the Ten Point Query lets you know up front (in simple terms) what's required to get a good score. I will point out how and why you lost points, relating my feedback to one or several of the principles in the Ten Point Query and what needs to be done to fix it.

I've spent years working on the dreaded query letter. Anyone who's written one knows how daunting of a task it can be to condense your 80,000 word novel down into a few hundred words. I've tested the Ten Point Query enough to know it works. Try it for yourself. Keep in mind, a perfect score does not guarantee an agent is looking for or will want to ready your particular story. But (to steal a line) the odds will be ever in your favor. Good luck!

P.S. If you're interested in my story and why I'm providing this service for free, you can read it at benhutchins.com/about.
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