Question Re: contact info. Should a tumblr be included? I have over 2k followers, but it's mostly fandom content. And what about fanfiction? I've been writing for 17 years and I have stories that have close to 50k hits online, and several hundred likes and comments. But I also know that a lot of people see fanfiction as taboo. Should I reference it, or am I better off not mentioning it at all?
One last question - when submission guidelines ask for pages, should they always be double spaced, even if the submission guidelines don't say either way?
Dear Query Shark,
Rosie’s pretty sure it would take magic to help her publish a novel at this point. Her best friend, Adelaide, always said she had it in her. But to be honest, Rosie hasn’t written a word since Addy died two years ago. Right now, she has less chance of publishing a book than she has of landing a decent date on Tinder. And that’s saying something.
Novels about writers are really tricky. Only writers care about whether someone publishes a novel. And writers aren't your audience here: readers are.
This reminds me of a conversation I had with a doctor once at a writing conference. I asked what the stakes were in his novel. He said in a horrified voice "he will lose his hospital privileges!" The writer/doctor was shocked to his shoes when I said no one would care about that.
My point here is the book needs to be about more then whether Rosie gets published.
Theo has worked as a muse at Muses Inc. for two hundred years. Now, at last, his contract is almost up. He just needs to sign one more writer and he can get back to his life, to his own writing, to his freedom. But his boss, Calliope, doesn’t share his enthusiasm, and seems determined to make him stay, whatever the cost.
This is actually a much more interesting start to the query. But what is Calliope's problem here? She doesn't like writers all of a sudden? Last I looked, she's the muse of Poets et al.
When Rosie inadvertently summons Theo, the two of them end up thrown into The Sandbox, a world where Rosie’s writing comes to life. The only way back home is to follow the story through to the end. Cue hybrid monsters, fire mages, fairy queens and one seriously manipulative Greek goddess.
So, what's the plot here? Rosie wants to get published. Got that. Theo wants out of Muses Inc. Got that. Who's running the Sandbox (ie the antagonist)? And by Greek goddess do you mean Calliope, cause she's a muse, not a goddess.
Rosie’s pretty sure it’ll all make a good book if she and Theo can just survive it.
ROSIE AND THEO is 74,000 words. It is a contemporary fantasy novel about reclaiming agency, overcoming fear, and becoming the protagonist of your own narrative.
Well, ok, but I don't get how this is any of that. What fears does Rosie overcome? Reclaiming agency? I'm pretty sure you don't mean literary agency, cause that would be weird. Become the protagonist of your own narrative sounds like a self-help book, not a novel.
This is my debut novel. When I’m not writing, I’m raising five kids to be pretty cool humans, along with my pretty cool, human husband. Sometimes, I’ll go on long and very excited rants about Jewish pirates. It’s a thing.
This is the best part of the query. It's funny. It makes sense. And it makes me want to know more about you.And where's the book about Jewish pirates? Oy matey!
Thank you for your time and consideration.
You don't have any plot on the page here, and I'm not seeing what you tell me the book is about. Start over.
As for your questions:
Question Re: contact info. Should a tumblr be included? I have over
2k followers, but it's mostly fandom content. And what about fanfiction?
I've been writing for 17 years and I have stories that have close to
50k hits online, and several hundred likes and comments. But I also know
that a lot of people see fanfiction as taboo. Should I reference it,
or am I better off not mentioning it at all?
Include your Tumblr account if you want an agent to look at it. Any social media platform is ok, particularly if it shows you've got an engaged audience. Readers are readers and I'm always glad to hear that a debut novelist already has some.
Fanfiction is taboo? I guess we should all forget that complete flop of a novel Fifty Shades of Grey?
I can't sell fanfiction using a world someone else created but I can certainly let READERS of that fiction know you have another book being published. There's a very clear distinction here. Let me know if you need elaboration.
question - when submission guidelines ask for pages, should they always
be double spaced, even if the submission guidelines don't say either
Not in an electronic query. Pages are single spaced BUT you allow white space by inserting a line every 3-5 lines so you're not sending a Big Block O'Text.