Crushing Your Query Letter Part 3!
So, honestly, I didn't even know that I was going to do a part 3 to this blog serious but as I am reviewing more and more queries for clients and writers who have taken advantage of special offers to review from being on my VIP list I can tell you that part three is NEEDED.
Have any guesses to what it is about?
This is one of the BIGGEST mishaps that writers make and I see it over and over and over again---and, I used to do this too.
Do you know?
It is---drum roll please!! When a writer queries way too soon.
I understand you've written that book or screenplay and in your head it's completely perfect because you can see it oh so clearly but usually it's not ready.
Now, I want to interject here on waiting too long too--that happens a lot too-but not quite as often.
You need to find that balance between wanting every single word to be perfect and sending out when it's just not ready.
Here are some signs that it's JUST TOO SOON.
1. You have only written a first draft
2. You have only revised once and mostly just checked off spelling errors
3. Your crit partners are telling you that they don't understand parts of it, or are confused
4. You haven't shown it to crit partners
5. You haven't workshopped it at all
6. You think that you don't need to revise it
7. There are a lot of grammar errors and mistakes throughout
8. You think your new agent will help you fix it
Is this you?? Did you do any of these?
MOST writers do these things when they are newer or even when they have been at it for some time without much success. I also find that authors who self-publish are often in this crowd, they have had a few form rejections and so they feel that no one understands them or their work so they better just send it out into the world themselves.
This rarely works---and is not a slag against self-publishing but that is a horse of a different color and I will go over self-publishing at a later date.
WHEN IS YOUR BOOK/SCREENPLAY QUERY READY?
1. When you have revised it many times. I would say at least 4, if not closer to 9 times. You want to make sure you are putting the best version of your story out there.
2. When you have taken it to a workshop and gotten professional feedback on it. If you write YA or MG I recommend any of the Whole Novel Workshops at the Highlights Foundation.
3. When you have won some kudos at writing conferences for your first pages.
4. When you work one on one with an agent or editor at a workshop or conference and they request it.
5. When your critique partners stop telling you they are lost--and are mostly telling you it's ready. SIDE NOTE-crit partners often think they have to point out flaws so once you are in a group for a while you will see what I mean.
6. You have edited at the word level and fixed typos and grammar errors.
7. You have studied the market, have genre clarity and know how to position your story.
8. You know that more revisions may be needed but really feel confident in all the work you have done to make this the best version it can be.
NOW, you can start submitting it. Please see my earlier blogs for more on the HOW to query and mistakes to avoid.
Here is a link from WRITERS RELIEF on query mistakes that I thought would be helpful as well as links in my earlier blogs on this!
Thank you for reading and I hope you will join me in the Story Concierge FREE FB group here
Thank you for reading and I wish you all the best! I know you can do it!!!