The book is finished. It’s as good as I can get it on my own. Time to find an agent. To do that, I have to write what’s called a query letter. It’s basically a short, concise letter describing my book to encourage agents to call, or email me back, to ask for a few chapters or the full version.
Sounds easy - but it’s been a harder process than the dang book itself.
I have two I’m working with. One letter I did with the help of friends, and one is the edited version sent back from my editor. I’ve posted them below to get your opinions and help!
What do you guys think? Which do you like better? Should there be pieces from both? What stood out as something that caught you? What makes it sound like nothing special, or any other book you’ve read?
Most importantly - would it make you want to read my book???
Please leave comments, shares, concerns, questions!!!
QUERY LETTER 1:
No Beauty Queen is a memoir of grit and grace.
On a hot, summer day in Alabama, I walked into my aunt’s house to watch her die. She was a single mom, who in one short year empowered me not only to claw my way out of poverty, but to also go back and rescue my half-sisters. By the time I moved in with my aunt at 17, I was done with washing dishes in the bathtub and playing servant to my stepmother’s illiterate daughters. But two days after graduating college, I was in family court suing for custody of those daughters. I won…sort of.
No Beauty Queen is more than the story of an alcoholic father and a wicked stepmother. Of growing up dirt poor and living in filth. Or going to schools where no young girl is safe because the kids carry box cutters instead of books. No Beauty Queen is certainly more than the heartbreaking anguish of watching the aunt who changed it all, slowly and painfully, lose her own battle with life. It’s a story of survival, salvation, and living in the Bible belt south.
I graduated from the University of Alabama in 2003 and moved to the tiny, mountain town of Guntersville, Alabama to take my first gig as a TV news reporter. From there, I moved to Florida, Las Vegas, and finally to the home of my husband, San Diego, California. After nearly a decade in front of the camera covering everything from the O.J. Simpson trial (the one in Vegas, where he was actually convicted) to Nascar racing and hurricanes, a still small voice said it was time to stop telling everyone else’s story.
And tell mine.
QUERY LETTER 2:
I am requesting permission to submit my manuscript for your evaluation. The manuscript, with a working title of No Beauty Queen, is a 76,000-word memoir manuscript. It is the story of a woman who uses grit and grace to fight her way out of an abusive childhood, and to save her two younger sisters from the same fate; this is a story of survival and salvation, set in the Bible-belt South. The manuscript has been professionally edited and is ready to be published.
I’d like to give you a little bit of information about my background. I graduated from the University of Alabama in 2003 and moved to the tiny mountain town of Guntersville, Alabama to take my first job as a TV news reporter. From there, I moved to Florida, Las Vegas, and finally to San Diego, California. After nearly a decade in front of the camera—covering everything from the O.J. Simpson trial to Nascar racing to hurricanes—a still, small voice said it was time to stop telling everyone else’s story, and tell mine.
The market for this book will likely be readers of the memoir, autobiography, and child-abuse survivor genres. This book is unique when compared with others on the market, as it is an entirely true story with a hopeful, uplifting conclusion. The main character rises above the circumstances of her youth and succeeds in saving her sisters from that same abuse.
If you are interested, I will gladly send you either the first three chapters of this story, or the complete manuscripts. I have enclosed an SASE for your reply. If you prefer, you can send an email. Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?