Friday, 5 June 2009

Drafting a query letter...

I'm trying to write a query letter for "Gabriel Yeats", trying to get a publisher interested in it (or maybe an agent - I've yet to make a definate decision on which is the right course to follow). It's unpleasantly nerve-wracking trying to sum-up and, worse still, pitch, my work.

If you were to get the following letter, how would it sound to you?

Dear X [NB I will take the time to find out the relevent name in each case]

I am writing to ask if I may send you my novel “The Eternal Love of Gabriel Yeats” for your kind consideration. It is approximately x words in length [note to self; do a word count] and tells the story of the dramatic changes in the life of post-war music teacher Simon Cenarth when he meets the charismatic and obsessive Gabriel Yeats and becomes caught up in Yeats’ extraordinary quest. It is a fantastical romance which would appeal to lovers of magic realism and fans of the films of Powell & Pressburger, and could be described as “’Cold Mountain’ crossed with ‘Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’”...

[And then a standard concluding paragraph asking if they would like to see some sample pages or a whole chapter or whatever, mentioning that I'm enclosing an appropriately-stamped SAE, and saying "thank you for your time"].

Anyway:

Does this make you think
a) Yeuchh
b) Yawn
c) Yes, that sounds intriguing…
d) Other (please specify).

Also, for those of you who have read “Gabriel Yeats”, does this sound like a fair pitch for the book?

Many thanks to anyone who has any feedback! This is a nerve-wracking business, trying to work out how to pitch my work...

4 comments:

lawrenceez said...

Looks like a great blogsite. The simple design is impressive.

WANDERER said...

A bit on the backfoot for this antipodean. Go the agent. What about something along the lines:

Dear Agent, consider yourself lucky to be given first option on my masterpiece, chapter 1 enclosed herein.

Imogen said...

Lawrenceez - the simple design is due mainly to my being unable to do anything else! I am a relative baby where computers are concerned.
Wanderer - nice one, but somehow I don't think that would wash!...

Gondal-girl said...

I thought it was good, however if it was me, I would drop the comparisons unless asked for and insert my own snazzy outline/brief synopsis that makes the story come to life...