What will get you noticed? What will it take to get an agent to even read your book? I understand that most agents are overwhelmed by want-to-be authors. So how does one stand out above the rest?
I am going to try a different approach. I will let anyone interested follow my approach to see if it works. I’ll update my progress.
I read an article by Jillian Manus on The Perfect Pitch, Ms. Manus starts by saying, “The pitch is one of the most integral parts of the selling process. It is the key that opens the door from you to an agent when you’re looking for representation.”
In the past I always tried to give as much information as I could in a few short paragraphs, trying to tempt an agent to read the book, even though what I was sending was a poor representation of what the book was really about.
After reading, The Perfect Pitch, I decided to condense my query letter into that perfect pitch as Ms. Manus suggested. You should be able to sell your idea in a few short sentences so try this; condense your query into teaser-pitch-hook and resolution.
My book, After the Mist, has already been accepted by publisher and will be on the market February 2012, so I will pitch another book, a Psychological Thriller; When the Dam Breaks, to agents one at a time.
My first draft query letter read like this:
Kelly Martin knows something is horribly wrong as her world is hurled into complete chaos. She is plagued by disturbing thoughts, and evil glimpses, but can find no escape from the nightmares. She feels her sanity slipping away bit by bit leaving helplessness, despair and madness in its wake.
She desperately needs to escape the most dangerous man she’s ever known. As the wife of a Homicide Detective she should feel safe, comforted in the protecting arms of her husband, unless of course her husband is the very one she needs protection from.
When a rash of horrifying murders tears through the city, things take a blind turn as Kelly’s husband Detective Bob Martin starts to pursue the killer.
A long lost passion is once again introduced into their marriage. It soon becomes clear to Kelly that the passion which ignites Bob’s sexuality into a raging force is the passion for the kill itself.
Her world spirals even further out of control as she realizes that the murders are not the work of an amateur, but of a calculating, well-organized, and lethal mastermind, for killer Bob pursues is none other then Bob himself.
. . . And it went on and on and on until you lost interest or went to sleep.
The condensed version:
Have you ever had one of those dreams where you want to run, need to run, your very life depends on you running but you can’t make your feet move?
Kelly Martin’s life mirrors one of those dreams. She needs to escape the most dangerous man she could ever imagine, her husband.
When Kelly’s husband, Homicide Detective Bob Martin starts to pursue a serial killer it soon becomes clear that his new found passion, the one which ignites his sexuality into a raging force is his passion for the kill itself.
Her world spirals out of control as she realizes the murders are not the work of an amateur, but of a manipulative, well-organized, and lethal mastermind, for the killer Bob pursues is none other then Bob, himself.
What Kelly doesn’t realize, is that Bob is only the tip of the iceberg, for what lies beneath the surface, is more sinister then anything she could have ever envisioned.
Someday I fully expect, not hope but expect to be a best selling author, so I will continue to shoot for the top.