I think we can all agree that querying is the most daunting task in the writing process. It’s scary just thinking about going up to some editor or agent and pitching something new knowing that you might not get it adopted. There’s a lot of pressure, which is why so many horror writers hide themselves away from the world, writing their magnum opuses in solitude. Fortunately, we’re not all alike. Some of us are actually extremely comfortable interacting with professionals while others of us need a little more encouragement. The truth is, there’s no single correct way to approach querying. It’s all about finding what works best for you. So let’s have a look at some basic tips on how to query and submit writing, as well as how to navigate the querying process itself. We’ll begin with the basics such as how to properly format your query letter and then move on to more specific tips on pitching specific types of works.
As with any other business, publishing is all about finding the right fit. For aspiring authors who want to get their work published, this means finding an agent who can sell their books to publishers. Typically, authors will seek out an agent who specializes in their specific genre or area of expertise. While it’s great to have an agent who is experienced in selling all types of books, it might be a better fit for you if they only represent authors who are in the same niche as yourself. This ensures that you’ll be able to find the right home for your work. Finding an agent is extremely important, especially if you’re looking to self-publish. Your agent will be able to guide you through the entire process from beginning to end. They will be able to offer advice on contracts, figureheads, marketing, and more. They can also help with editing and formatting your book for publication.
This is a question which you should be asking yourself before you start pitching. Where do you want to go with your writing? Are you more of a straight-up horror writer? Maybe you have a funny anecdote about life in the circus which you want to share? Perhaps you want to tackle environmental issues in your work? There are numerous options which you can explore, all of which can be the basis of an excellent story, but none of which can you can make a living off of. In order to make this decision, you need to be very specific about your goals and exactly how you plan to go about achieving them. Once you’ve determined what you’re trying to say, the right outlet will pop up in your head and you’ll be able to go about finding a way to say it.
Now that you’ve got a clear idea of what you’re trying to say, it’s time to figure out how to say it. Begin by researching the most effective ways to pitch your story. There are a lot of different platforms and social media sites which you can utilize in order to get the word out about your work. However, these platforms are useless if you don’t know how to use them correctly. For example, if you’re looking to pitch your novel, you might want to consider approaching a literary agent. These are individuals who specifically deal with creative writing and can help get your book into the right hands. If you’re looking for an agent who specializes in non-fiction, you might want to consider an environmental or cultural rights advocate. They might be able to get you in contact with the right people who can help promote your book.
After you’ve found an agent who represents writers in your chosen niche, it’s time for you to learn the differences between a literary agent and a general agency. A literary agent’s main function is to find suitable books for clients, take them under contract, and then negotiate contracts on their behalf. A general agency’s job is to simply sell books for clients.
A literary agent will typically have had some prior relationship with the book’s publisher. This means they’ve gone through the same process as you have, trying to find the right home for their client’s work. As a result, they know what works and what doesn’t and can help guide you through the process. A general agency will not have this pre-existing relationship with the publisher and will have to learn along with you, which can make the process more stressful. Lastly, a literary agent will typically have a team of professionals who can help with the entire publishing process from start to finish, including editing, formatting, and publicity. A general agency will only have a couple of people who might be able to pitch your story or handle a contract. It’s a lot to absorb all at once, especially if this is your first time ever dealing with the process.
Once you’ve found a publisher for your work, it’s time to start considering additional details such as royalties and advances.royalties and advances. Advances are compensation paid to authors at the beginning of the publication process. Royalties are compensation paid to authors at the end of the publication process. In order to determine how much you’ll need to pay back, you’ll have to multiply your monthly sales by the appropriate percentage. It’s best to begin with a small advance and then look to publishers for additional compensation. Remember, your ultimate goal is to have your book found, purchased, and adopted by as many people as possible. To do this, you’ll need to approach the process with a strategic mindset. This means considering factors such as advertising, social media, and other avenues of outreach, knowing that all of these platforms can and will help get your book out there to the right audience. Your ultimate task is to prove to the world that you’re a talented writer and that they should buy your book, so that you can continue writing about the things which interest you.
Now that we’ve gone over the essentials of pitching, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of actually writing a quality query letter. Ideally, you’ll approach this task with a fresh set of eyes and a clear head, knowing that this is something which needs to be done and that you’re not exactly sure how it all works. So, let’s get into it.
First things first, you need to decide what you’re going to write about. Are you going to write an erotica story? Or are you going to write a crime novel? It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be able to pitch the same story to multiple publishers, so you might want to think about which genre suits you best and then go from there. Once you’ve determined this, it’s time to set your goals. What are you hoping to achieve by pitching this particular story? Are you looking to gain experience? Or are you looking to simply find a publisher who might be interested in your work? Setting your goals will be a huge help in deciding on the correct approach to take with your query letter. If you’re just starting out, it might be a good idea to set a goal of finding a literary agent. Once you’ve gotten some experience, you can revisit this decision and decide whether or not you actually want to pursue being an author. For now, let’s just keep things simple and develop a solid foundation for your writing career.
Now that we’ve got a decent amount of content, let’s develop our hook. What is your enticing premise? What makes this story worth telling? In order to write a good plot, you need a strong hook. This is the thing which immediately draws the reader into the story and makes them keep reading. It can be a character, setting, occasion, or even the dialogue. However, it should be something which cannot be easily guessed. If you’re having trouble coming up with a suitable hook, consider re-reading the last few paragraphs you wrote. These are the parts of your story which you’ll find at the beginning. Before you start rewriting, you should have a fairly clear idea of what the hook is going to be. Otherwise, you might find yourself writing pages upon pages of exposition, trying to figure out what is going on, before you finally nail down your one great idea.
Once you’ve got your hook, it’s time to work on your title. For most writers, the title comes first and then the rest of the story. You might want to pick apart your story, looking for the one or two parts which could use the most work. Consider the one part which you think is the strongest and then build from there. Once you’ve got your title, it’s time to check it for spelling errors and then set the publishing date. Putting the final touches on your story means getting it ready for submission. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to send it off into the great wide world, hoping that someone, somewhere will stumble upon it and fall in love with your story, like you did.