The Query that launched a thousand offers (or at least 6) #PitchWars #AmQuerying
I was mind blown when the offer emails started pouring in. I couldn't believe the book of my heart, the book that didn't make it into Pitchwars like I hoped went on to move 6 incredible agents to offer representation. (You can read about my book in my PIMP MY BIO blog post here).
To fight for me and my book. It was wonderful and overwhelming. Multiple offers sounds like a GREAT problem to have. And it is - but it comes with it's own pros and cons (which I discuss in my ERMIGAWD I HAVE AN AGENT blog post) LOL.
So, for all hopeful mentees, anyone looking to figure out how to query a multiple POV YA Fantasy - here is the one that was a clear winner for me:
Dear (AGENT NAME),
Flaming red hair marks seventeen year old Schen Vale as a Saa Zitah—touched by fire—people demonized out of fear and superstition. Any found are offered in ritual sacrifice, or their organs and limbs sold to the highest bidder.
Schen already lost her leg, and doesn’t intend to lose any other body parts—or her life. But when a temple heist leads to her exposure, she falls into the hands of a merchant captain out for revenge and redemption.
Women have held absolute power on the continent of Eroshai for three hundred years, but the thronelands are broken, corrupted by a blood-soaked history of pain and misery. And though magic, the weapon of men, is gone—fear and superstition remain.
But when Schen discovers a chance to restore magic and stop the killings for good—she will risk everything. Even if it means abandoning her dreams of a life with the girl she loves, and facing her greatest fears by becoming a weapon, forged from fire, to kill a tyrant queen who thirsts for power and blood.
TOUCHED BY FIRE is a YA Fantasy complete as a standalone with series potential at 106,000 words with a non-western setting, an #ownvoices biracial, bisexual heroine, and will appeal to readers who enjoy multiple POV narratives like Six of Crows or Throne of Glass.
I am an RWA member. In 2016 I was twice reviewed by RT Book Reviews, featured in Cosmopolitan online magazine and a Top 3 Catherines finalist. I’ve also done commissioned work with Wattpad for H&M, PANDORA and Warner Bros. I recently parted ways with my agent and am seeking representation.
The first ten pages are pasted below, as per your submission guidelines.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
34 sent - 08/24/2017
16 fulls requested
1st offer of rep - 09/13/2017
nudges sent + 2 week offer window
Signed with agent - 09/27/2017
**12 agents missed the offer of rep nudge
But I thought you said this was a multipov query? You only talk about ONE character?
Yes. Because a query isn't a synopsis. It's a summary designed to hook and entice the agent to want to read your pages and (hopefully) finish your book. It's only 250-350 words for you to work with so you need to be as a clear, concise and catchy as possible. That's not a lot of real estate to cover all three POVs AND meet all the necessary beats without muddying the waters with TOO MUCH information.
The key is to keep it simple. Focus on your main MC (yes, even in multiple POV there is always a MAIN. One character who more screen time or a stronger overarching arc/ the most compelling hook.
At the base of my query where I discuss the book details (wordcount, comps, etc, I do explain that this is a multiPOV story which is all an agent needs in the query letter). In the end this is Schen's story - she's clearly the engine driving the plot, so it made sense for me to focus entirely on her in this query.
This is but one example, and there are always expectations to the rule. So be sure to check out amazing resources like QUERY SHARK and bounce your query off as many CPs as possible before the windows open (the above query is draft #27).
My agent loved this query so much, he asked for permission to use it in the agency newsletter, to which I said a resounding YAS! lol