Important Themes from PitchtoPub #10queries

So, if you are like many of us in the aspiring-writer universe, you’ve probably been following the #PitchtoPublication twitter feed with such alacrity that you’re now tempted to self-diagnose yourself with carpal tunnel and obsessive personality disorder.  Totally understandable, especially given all of the precious tidbits of feedback the participating editors have been offering in their #10queries based on their #PitchtoPublication submissions.  If you haven’t been able to keep up with all of them, or are just looking for a slightly distilled version, here are the thematic tips I’ve taken away from this buffet of invaluable advice.

1) Comps, comps, comps!  It is incredibly important to have up-to-date (i.e., published in the last 5 years) titles listed in your query as comparisons for the manuscript you are trying to publish.  This helps agents note the marketability of your manuscript along with knowing more about your manuscript’s tone, style, and plot than you have time to address in your query.  Feel free to use combos of manuscripts, since you don’t want to reproduce a previously published work.  Ex: Maze-Runner meets Percy Jackson.

2) Don’t start you query with “Imagine a world. . .”  Apparently, this is a cliche of a cliche of a cliche.  Auto-reject for some agents, even.

3) Make sure your pronoun use is clear.  Use names when you can instead of pronouns.

4) Make it clear how your book is unique.  I know, I just mentioned comparable titles in #1.  This is why queries are hard to write.  Lots to do in very few words.  If you don’t make the case for how your story is unique and contributes something special, it’ll be a pass for most/all agents.

5) Be aware of preferred word-count ranges for your genre.  Don’t be too under or too over.  For guidelines, check out Literary Rejections.

Want to review the #10queries from PitchtoPublication for yourself?  Check out these prolific editors for a start. . .

@RFaithEditorial

@LindsaySchlegel

@LaraEdits

@kateangelella

@katiemccoach

Pitch to Publication: June 29th is almost here. . .

Don't miss out on this awesome opportunity. . . running to your computer is totally acceptable!
Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity. . . running to your computer is totally acceptable!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  The writing/editing/publishing community offers some many incredible opportunities for aspiring writers.  Coming up on June 29 is Pitch to Publication, where you have the potential to win 1 month of editing from a professional editor, partner with them to then market your manuscript to interested agents, and then move forward potentially to the publication round.  You can find all of the submission information at Samantha Fountain’s blog and opportunities to submit begin June 29 at 8am CST (9am EST for all of my East-Coasters and 6am PST for all of my West-Coasters).

Make sure to review the editors’ bios at Samantha’s blog and be able to commit the time to editing in the time-frames allotted if you are selected (failure to comply with the specified deadlines leads to disqualification).  More info can also be found at WriterPitch.

So, what are you waiting for?