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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I've Been Wearing These A Lot!

Good thing they're stylish and comfy, huh? Yeah, we got more snow last night. I'm so desperate for good weather that I started rewriting some of my favorite winter songs. Like, instead of "Frosty the Snowman", it's "Toasty the Sandman". Then, instead of "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas", it's "I'm Screaming for a Bright Marchmas". My latest masterpiece is inspired by "Let It Snow", but I call it "Let It Glow", and it goes something like this: The heat outside is heightening, but the pool is so inviting. I know I'm not the only one trapped in these Winter blues, so I'll quit complaining and get on to the Webinar with Mary Kole. First of all, I'd like to explain that this Webinar was geared for everyone from the beginning writer to the more seasoned, ready to query writer. She covered a lot of ground, much of which you probably already know. I did pick up a few helpful tips, which I will share with you over the next couple of posts. Let's start with querying. Keep in mind that these are just one agent's opinions and may not hold true for all agents. Here's what Mary Kole would like to see in a query: 1. Personalize it--state why you are querying this particular agent 2. Isolate the hook 3. Necessary Info--word count, genre, whether it's a multiple submission 4. Keep the bio brief and to the point 5. Tell about the book: Who is main character? What launches story? What does main character want? What stands in his/her way? What's at stake if he/she doesn't get what he/she wants? On Friday, I'll share with you the three things Mary Kole thinks separates an aspiring writer from a published author. See you then!

40 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I rarely personalize a query. I noticed with my last book, it didn't make a difference. The same number of agents requested it whether or not I personalized it. Same deal this time around. And considering some agents send form rejections or are non responders (like Mary), why should I take the time to personalize it. In many cases, you're looking at spending a lot of time to research/stalk an agent just to write something to personalize it.

Jayne said...

Now that's a way to spin the weather! I hope it hears you.
Thanks for the webinar info, and I'll check back for more later...

Robyn Campbell said...

Susan, thanks for teaching us what you learned. It means the world to us.

I see what Stina is saying, but then again you don't know when that personalized query could make all the difference. :)

Kelly said...

Cute boots! It's neverending days of boots and snow here too! I'm ready for spring! Love the spring parodies!
Thanks for the tips from the webinar, too!

Melissa said...

We don't have the snow, but it has been cold. So I'm ready for summer too:)

I haven't really thought about personalizing queries. I'm nowhere near ready to look for an agent. But if I research an agent and they prefer personalized queries, I'll try my best to do that.

Patti said...

I still need to work on personalizing the query letter, that's my next step. Looking forward to see what she says about what separates a published author from the rest.

Diane said...

Great tips! I'll try to incorporate a few into my query. :O)

Tere Kirkland said...

I always took time to at least write a sentence about why I thought the particular agent would like my novel, which never really took that much work, especially if I made a note to myself about why I chose them.

I mean, I like to be treated like a human being, and I assume agents do to. And I feel like it makes for a better transition into the book description part of the query.

And since my bio was so brief, I kept it super short, keeping the focus on my novel. Really, that's the most important part—that you can tell what your novel is about in an engaging way.

Looking forward to your next post!

Colene Murphy said...

Good query tips. CUTE boots!!

Amanda said...

I'm dying for nice weather, too! Come on spring! Great query tips, and the boots...LOVE!

Jaime said...

Great info on a cold blustery day! :) Thnx!

Elana Johnson said...

Great query tips. I can't wait to see what separates the aspiring from the published!

And stay warm. :)

Suzanne Casamento said...

Ohhh...your songs are so cute. But SAD! Girl, you need a trip to LA. I write that as I just finished packing my bag for a trip to the east coast to see family. I'm afraid to go there because I might never get out! Plus, I may end up singing your songs!

Carol Riggs said...

Thanks for the Mary Kole run-down! Yay! Ha, and I enjoyed your versions of the song lyrics. LOL Have a great week, Susan!

Lily Robinson said...

There's so much info out there! I wish I had time to take advantage of it all. I'm glad you're there to pass it along.

Angie Muresan said...

I hope that when the time comes for me to submit my query letter, I'll remember your tips.
Sorry to hear about your never ending winter. Very cute boots, by the way.

Tamika: said...

Great tips, thanks for sharing these. Interesting that we should include why we are querying a particular agent, I wouldn't have thought they would care-LOL!

Bethany Mattingly said...

I'm so glad you're posting these tips. I need all the help possible to get mine finished.

Carla said...

I like how you listed specific things in your story to include...I like checklists!

I hope the weather pays attention to your songs. Yesterday was almost nice in Houston, but today is back to cold rain.

~Carla @ Carla-Jansen.blogspot.com

Carolyn V said...

Oooo!!! Such great info on queries!!! =)

I love the songs. I'm totally going caroling with you. We'll start with I'm dreaming of a bright Marchmas. =D

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Excellent! But that last paragraph is quite the teaser. I want my Oompa Loompa NOW!!! :-)

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

You've really been blasted this winter. Here's hoping spring is fast approaching. :)

Plamena Schmidt said...

Great lyrics! Those sound like good tips from Mary Kole. Very similar to what Elana Johnson has on how to write a query.

Melissa Gill said...

Those are some stylin' boots girl. I wish that you didn't have to wear them so much, (partly because that would mean I didn't have to wear mine either.) I walked out of the house this morning and just threw up my hands. I'm so over this winter.

Thanks for the info on Mary's webinar. She's great.

Jen Chandler said...

Winter is usally enjoyable for me...until February. This year has been no different. "Let it Glow" indeed!

Thanks for the query info. I look forward to the next post :D

Tana Adams said...

Perfect query tips! I've been living in my Ugg's too! And you're reworking of your favorite winter songs is hilarious! You are so funny!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Sounds like a great webinar! I'm looking forward to reading more about it. Yeah, we've been getting snow here, too. But we might get into the high 50's this weekend and I am soooo looking forward to it!

Lynn said...

These are great points. And I'm really looking forward to Friday 'cause, selfishly, that's kind of where I'm at right now!

And, fun lyrics!

K. M. Walton said...

Oh boy do I love your rendition of Let it Glow. I can feel the heat all the way over here!!!

Kelly H-Y said...

Meanwhile, we haven't gotten any snow! Such a bizarre weather winter! Great information ... thank you!

Julia King said...

Can't wait for Friday's post.

Abby Annis said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing what you learned. :)

Paul Greci said...

Thanks Susan. I'll look forward to Friday's post!!

Tabitha Bird said...

thanks for the info about Mary Kole. I look forward to Friday.

Angela Ackerman said...

If the weather sucks it's always nice to have some great footwear!

Thanks for the tips from Mary!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Stephanie Thornton said...

I need a pair of comfy boots. But then I'd have to wear socks!

Nice tips from Mary!

Susan Fields said...

Thanks for sharing these tips, Susan! I'll be revising my query over the next few days and I'll definitely be coming back to take another look at these.

On the bus stop the other day, my neighbor accidentally told her daughter to stay out of the sand instead of stay out of the snow. Wishful thinking!

K.M. Weiland said...

You know, I've never really liked those furry boots... but suddenly they look entirely appealing. My toes are freezing! In fact, I think I'll run over to Amazon right now and see if I can find a pair in my size!

Elizabeth McKenzie said...

All good stuff, but the reason for picking that particular agent? Because she was accepting queries.

I'm looking forward to the warm weather, also. It's been in the single digit numbers here, bitterly cold. My car is filthy and when it warms up my driveway and the road outside my house will be a sea of mud. I want it to, both melt and dry the earth.

Terri Tiffany said...

I won't discuss the snow:) BUT, I did copy down the points for a query as I soon have a new one to write and need all the pointers I can get!