Query Letters are Hard

I’m drafting a query letter to send to writing agents in an attempt to seduce them into asking for the full manuscript of my book. It may be the most difficult thing I have ever tried to do. It is definitely the most difficult 300 words I have ever written.

I’m really hung up on getting the voice right. I want to be authentic, obviously. But I’m selling a collection of humorous essays. The letter MUST be funny. But it is also a business letter. It MUST be professional so that they take me seriously. Here is an example of a sentence that is giving me some aggravation. I think it’s funny. The editor of my dreams should find it funny. It is NOT however professional, and I am therefore irresolute.

“I work in pharmaceuticals professionally and write recreationally, but I am working toward making a permanent transition wherein I would write professionally and do pharmaceuticals recreationally.”

See what I mean?

I’m in a no-win situation.

I have no more to say about the matter; I just needed to vent some frustration. And if there are writers out there who might have some advice, I’m all eyes. (Because it’s a blog and you would be writing back and I would read your comments… never mind.)

About Rachel Lewis

Rachel Lewis has worked as a barista, a book seller, a jewelry store window dresser, a wood shop lackey, a receptionist, an extra on Touched By An Angel, and once built thirty giant ants out of paper mâché to decorate a parade float. It took an entire weekend and she was paid approximately twenty dollars. She has written six short and one act plays which have been produced in showcases and festivals in Salt Lake City - Utah, Austin - Texas and Manhattan - New York. Her full length play, Locking Doors, was produced by the University of Utah in 2005. Subsequent productions were later staged in Twin Falls - Idaho and Jackson Hole - Wyoming. Ms. Lewis is currently employed in the pharmaceutical industry and is working on a masters in technical writing. She finds that keeping this web log effective prevents her dying from boredom. She is also makes and sells wheel-thrown pottery and is working on another full length play and a book of short stories. Rachel Lewis is a Utah native and lives in Salt Lake City with her Yorkshire terrier, Wensleydale Doggiepants.

2 responses to “Query Letters are Hard

  1. Hello, and thank you for a heart-felt post. I understand exactly what you mean and am struggling with the ever-difficult query letter myself. I really don’t have specific advise, only encouragement and understanding.

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