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Ready to Query? Don't Forget Your Lipstick

Step 1: Blog. About Writing.

Step 2: Write a blog post about querying.

Le sigh.

Everyone’s favorite subject, right?

I have something to say that’s never been said before, right?

Uh . . .

Sure. We’re gonna shoot for that.

So because there are dozens, nay probably THOUSANDS of blog posts out there that can help you write the best query ever jotted down, I’m not going to talk about how to write a query as far as how to break it down and do it correctly and professionally and all that stuff. Those posts are incredibly important, but if you are looking for those, check out these. (They’re the ones I like and have used when writing my own queries.)

http://agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx

http://writersrelief.com/blog/2011/05/query-fail-how-not-to-write-a-query-letter/

http://www.rachellegardner.com/how-to-write-a-query-letter/

Wait, but Katie, how is this a blog post about query writing if you’re not going to talk about writing a query?

Because. I said so.

No, really though. Instead, we’re going to talk about how I like to approach the query. How I think about the query. And I approach things like my characters approach things – with abandon, little rationality, full feels, and looking SMOKING HOT.

Oh yeah. That’s right. We’re getting gussied up for our query letters.

Now, before you run away back to Candy Crush, let me say this: Everyone hates writing query letters, yes? We groan and we moan and we procrastinate and they are these big, dreaded things. I want to write books! you say. Not letters! And everyone says I have to do it but I don’t wanna and you can’t make me and I’m not going to think about it or do it until I absolutely have to and—

HOLD UP!

You know what query letters are? They’re dates. Yeah, I said it. They’re first dates with that really cute guy/girl you’ve been stalking on twitter and Facebook and Instagram and have FINALLY scored a Dinner/Movie or Netflix & Chill Friday night plan with. The guy you want to propose to you and sweep you away into a life of bliss. And by all means, some people would rather stay single and self-pub, and that is totally cool. I’ve self-pubbed. I’ve also done the long-distance relationship through Kindle Scout where we’re kinda together, but only when they’re in town, and when I’m with them, I have one dress and one set of panties. In the meantime, I’m free to dance the night away with anyone else I please. But me? I want a marriage. I want a commitment. I want someone to be fascinated with me and love me every day without having to wonder if I’m going to have a date next Friday night. I want a ring on my finger in the form of a contract of representation.

The thing is, with a query, we’re testing the waters. We don’t know the agents (apart from what we learned from internet research/stalking.) We don’t know how they’re going to feel about us. If our life (writing) philosophies are going to swirl together and make rainbow sprinkled cupcakes, or clash and come out looking like rocks that smell faintly of vinegar. Same with boyfriends and girlfriends. That dude in the grocery store was like, super hot, and his car had a bumper sticker on it that said he thinks snails are pretty and I THINK SNAILS ARE PRETTY and it could totally be meant to be! But first, I need to put on my lipstick and Little Black Dress and see what he thinks about my Harry-Met-Sally ordering style of Everything On The Side, while learning about his family and if he wants to make room for me, and my collection of Cabbage Patch dolls, in his life. Which may take place in a tiny apartment, which is okay, or in a ten-bedroom mansion with a Jacuzzi bath in every room, even the closets. Totes fine by me.

So, grab your lipstick and high heels, or that new shirt and Sex Panther cologne guys (60% of the time, it works 100% of the time), and let’s get ready for some dates!

(For example purposes, I’m going to use an old query of mine – yeah, eat your heart out ;) And don’t laugh too loud.)

All right, so when the date is made and you’re ready to go on it, what’s the first thing you do when you open the door or head into the restaurant? Better, what are you wearing?

If you’re in sweats, just go home. I don’t want to date you. And if I’m in sweats? I don’t know why you’d want to date me. By all means, leave.

Meaning when I show up to our date, I’m wearing the strappy, sexy heels that leave me with blisters so I’m only able to hobble and shuffle for the next three days, but damn do they make my calves look like goddesses. And the dress? Oh yeah. It shows all my attributes, makes you not even want to get under my clothes because I look so good in them, but we both know that if you get me out of my dress, you’re gonna see some kickass lingerie. My hair and makeup are also perfect, straight out o