Guest post by Brett Halbleib
Check out this promotional blurb for a book called Half Way Home, by Hugh Howey:
Five hundred of us were sent to colonize this planet. Only fifty or so survived. We woke up fifteen years too early, we had only half our training, and they expected us to not only survive ... they expected us to conquer this place. The problem is, it isn’t safe here. We aren’t even safe from each other.
Do you want to keep reading? I do. And it took only 57 words to convince me. 57 words, that’s it. (The blurb is so good I’m concerned the book might be a letdown.) And whether your blurb is on
Amazon.com or the inside cover of your book, a good blurb is vital to your success. Other than perhaps your mom, no one is going spontaneously buy your book. You must convince them to.
As a literary agent in major trade publishing at the Trident Media Group literary agency, I often have to explain the elements of a good query letter to new clients. This article is intended as a description of what goes into a good query letter, for new authors unfamiliar with what literary agents and editors are looking for in a query letter intended the book-publishing world. For a writer who might be currently querying literary agents, or even contemplating that process, this might be interesting reading. Considering the high rejection rate in the book publishing industry for writers trying to become debut authors, this article will hopefully be enlightening for the countless writers who are experiencing rejection due to a poorly-constructed query letter.