I know you think it's polite to start off with "I'd be grateful" but honestly, you don't need it here. Are you grateful if your real estate agent answers her phone? Same thing. You're proposing we enter in to a business relationship. Just tell me what your book is about. Save the grateful for when I sell the book for wheelbarrows of cash.
And leave the housekeeping stuff like word count and category till the end.
A former Cirque du Soleil aerialist and ex-con who’s hiding from her father is drawn into the perilous world of human trafficking when she agrees to investigate the disappearance of a journalist in rural North Dakota.
And here's where I stop reading. I can hear your screams of anguish when I say this but it's true. I don't want to read about human trafficking for entertainment. I see news reports, I hear fund raising appeals, it's an awful awful topic.
And here's the kicker: you could avoid that instant rejection by leaving out this worse-than-useless, actually detrimental, LOGLINE! I've railed against loglines for years. They're an import from the film business and they have no place in a good query. A good query entices me to read on because it engages me with the STORY. A logline is all about concept. Useful if that's what you're pitching, but that's not the case here.
Fia Colibri, 26, wants two things: to hide from her father and to recreate herself. Neither is possible after her car breaks down in East Ridge, North Dakota, a blip of a town near the Canadian border.
If you'd started here, I would have kept reading. When you start with your main character, not a news headline, you've increased your chances I'll keep reading.
While stranded, she meets Aiden, a lawyer who’s looking for his missing sister Kylie, and agrees to help him with his search. Her acrobatic skills—and prison savvy—are just what he needs. When they investigate a nearby Cold War radar station that’s been converted into an orphanage, they become immersed in the dangerous world of the Russian bratva and discover that the orphanage is a front for child porn, prostitution, and slave trading. Kylie is being held prisoner there, but she won't leave until she’s amassed evidence to expose the Russians.
Why does Fia agree to help Aiden? You've told us she wants to hide from her father and recreate herself. How does helping Aiden do that? And what's at stake for her? If she helps Aiden, what will she lose?
There's a logical inconsistency between "Kylie is being held prisoner" and "she won't leave." Being held prisoner means she doesn't get to leave even if she accumulates enough evidence of anything.
Frustrated by secretive townsfolk, belligerent thugs, and a corrupt police force, Fia and Aiden ultimately save the children, rescue Kylie, and evade her father.
Never Ever EVER give away the ending in a query. Your job in a query is to entice me to read on. Now that I know what happens, why would I read the book? And in revealing the end of the book so hurridley you've taken all the verve out of the story. That's absolutely fatal in a query.
Get the plot and stakes on the page, and that's ALL.
I’ve worked as a book designer, editor, and website manager in the nonfiction trade publishing arena and am currently writing full time.
Thanks very much for your time and consideration.