Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Way It Ought to Work

I'm already thinking ahead to the query letter I'll send out for Time and the Soldier. Mostly, I'm thinking about the hook such a letter has to begin with.

Ugh. I can't imagine writing a hook, even though I'll have to.

It shouldn't be that hard. The whole process should be much simpler. The query letter should be, "Me author. You agent. Here book."

The agent should then reply (almost immediately!), "Me agent. Love book. You client."

Not long after, the following letter should show up: "Me editor. Big publisher. Book stupendous. Reaching waaaay down into company piggy bank."

Update: I just thought of the perfect hook! Short, snappy, catchy. Just generally terriffic.

The book opens with a building blowing up. So now my query letter will read:


Me author. You agent. Here book.

Man, that's a killer.


Chris said...

Wait, my query SHOULDN'T be "Me author. You agent. Here book."? I'd best go change it.

Whew! No wonder I hadn't yet found representation. Now, of course, it's much better: "Me super-awesome author. You agent lucky to be reading this. Here book."

That oughta do it.

David said...

Ah! That good query letter!

gary said...

Yes, this all sounds perfectly reasonable. But a possible downside to such negotiations might mean you end up sitting across from Oprah!

My query would add: "You pander. Not me pander." And: "You grovel! Me up the ante!"

David said...

This is turning into a jointly written query letter of awesome power!

My impression is that authors who sit across from Oprah subsequently never have to worry about paying the bills again.

gary said...

Certain costs might be hidden, just like in our economy. But initiation into the "Angel Network" probably does have advantages.

John A. Karr said...

I've always felt an overt hook is a gimmick meant to attract jaded industry insiders more than actual readers. I don't need a hook to read a book for pleasure.

btw, I haven't begun yours just yet. Clearing the way for it, however. Time and general weariness are not minor factors.

David said...

John, Oh, I agree! But apparently hooks are now generally expected.

Hmm. I just thought of a very short and very catch one. I'll have to go edit the original post.

Lahdeedah said...

Mine is going to be:

Me, awesome stupendous writer, You, person who will pay outrageous fee for story not yet complete, and your friend, upcoming indie filmamaker sponsored by Big Hollywood Land with oodles and oodles of cash.

Still, yours is good. Short, catchy, to the point. How could it be resisted?
Also, book Oprah, Definitely!!!!!

David said...

I think I hit a button with this topic. :)