The Biggest Query Letter Mistake

Carly Watters, Literary Agent Blog

pencilsAre you making this critical query mistake? The biggest query mistake: writers submitting a synopsis instead of a pitch.

A synopsis is the play-by-play of your novel. A pitch is a to-the-point email or letter that focuses on the hook, the conflict, and why it matters for the protagonist–and why an agent should read your book!

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Some of you reading might think, “So what? If an agent wants to represent me, won’t they want the synopsis?” The answer is no, not in the query letter.

A query letter is not a synopsis. A query letter’s job is to get an agent to want to read more. A synopsis is to share when the agent is already interested, perhaps already requested your chapters, and needs to know the plot outline.

If you pitch us a synopsis and not a query:

1. It ends up being too long. A query should only be…

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About sherrihasley

My professional writing career began while attending Los Angeles City College as a Journalism student where I was Lifestyles Editor for the campus newspaper. For two years I was the Editorial Director for Travel News Today, and am now a freelance writer. With several travel and restaurant reviews published in Citynet magazine, I have also had works of poetry published in 2009 for "New Love Stories" magazine, and Theater of the Mind, a poetry anthology. I now reside in Joshua Tree, CA and continue to freelance. In addition to writing, I am an animal advocate, loves nature and the outdoors, explorer, fitness enthusiast, thrill seeker, adventure junkie, loves books and reading, holistic and healing practices and therapies, spas, massage, and I embrace my family and friends. I'm looking to network with creative and compassionate souls. I am excited discuss ideas...never stop dreaming!
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