Writing Books/FOLLOW UP


Someone asked for a detailed query. I have written one with a hook, second paragraph briefly describing book and a third saying that I contacted professionals in my research. Does this sound right or is some things missing?


ANSWER: Itís difficult to say without reading the actual query, but it sounds like itís a good start. Youíre right to keep it short.

One more step would be to refer to a specific book the agent or publisher has handled and say why your book is better or different. In this way you prove youíve done your research and you also know youíre querying an agent or publisher that handles your type of book.

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QUESTION: Thanks but since it is brief why did she send the phrase "detailed query letter"? The agency said that they had done a certain type and was looking to expand by doing my type I think. I wrote that my book targets readers of a bestselling author (that this agency doesn't handle) will that work for the "refer to a specific book the agent or has handled?"
thanks again.

Itís hard to read an agentís mind, but in my opinion the only other things you need to cover are the word count (or estimated word count) and why youíre capable of writing the bookóthat is, give your publishing credits if you have any. If you donít, donít address that issue. That is, never say, ďIíve never been published butÖĒ

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Bobbie Christmas


Book Doctor Bobbie Christmas owns Zebra Communications, a book-editing firm in metro Atlanta. She not only edits books, she also helps writers power up their prose to increase their chances of success. She is the author of Write In Style (Union Square Publishing), a creative-writing guide that won three awards.


Bobbie has spent more than 40 years in the publishing and communications industry and has run Zebra Communications, a book-editing company, since 1992. The editor of many publications and periodicals, she has worked with book publishers and trade magazine publishers as well as working in marketing communications and corporate communications.

Past president, Georgia Writers Association; past vice president, South Carolina Writers Workshop; charter/lifelong member, Florida Writers Association; Southeastern Writers Association; Atlanta Writers Club; Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature (SPELL); International Guild of Professional Consultants

Write in Style (Union Square Publishing), A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation), A Cup of Comfort for Friends (Adams Media), A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Sons (Adams Media), Haunted Engounters (Atriad Press), Remembering Woolworth's (St. Martin's Press), First-Time Home Buyer magazine, HomeBusiness Journal, Apparel Industry Magazine, Edge Magazine, Atlanta Jewish Times, Time Travel Australia, American Writers Review, Points North, That's Entertainment, Atlanta Parent, Agnes Scott Alumnae Magazine, etc.

Journalism: University of South Carolina plus four decades of working in publishing, marketing, communications, advertising, newspaper and magazine production, book publishing, etc.

Awards and Honors
First Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers Annual Contest, 2005; First Place, education, Royal Palm Literary Award, 2004; Best in Division, Georgia Author of the Year Awards, 2005; Finalist, Best Books 2005, USA BookNews Third Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers, 1999; Nominated for Georgia Author of the Year, 1998; plus many other awards

Past/Present Clients
Capital Books, Sourcebooks, Olin Frederick, The Writer's Machine, Russell Dean & Company, Outskirts Press, and hundreds of writers.

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