I just sent my very first query letter, and I actually feel a little queasy. My finger hovered for about a minute before I pressed the send button. I pressed it when my husband threatened to press it for me.
--> Be the one to press the very first send to your very first query!
I suppose that the reason I feel a bit queasy is a) nerves, b) excitement, c) the fact that I still haven't finished reading the final read of my manuscript. But it'll only take the next two days to finish reading it and I'm sure it'll take more than two days for the agent to pick out my query letter to read. They say I can expect a month. So I'll get busy reading today to make sure that there were no little mistakes last time I made corrections.
I also offered the agent to request the full proposal. I felt it was ready last night, but now I'm bit nervous since I feel I must shorten the character sketch part and maybe the author bio. Again, I should be able to do that over the weekend.
--> Be completely happy with your full profile before querying...if you don't want nerves to pain you the next day.
This is why you shouldn't query when you're too tired.
--> Be wide awake and fresh when querying.
Despite of all that, I'm very excited. I know my chances are slim, but I'm curious to see what happens. I thought the query letter turned out well and I included the first five pages of the manuscript.
What I was unhappy with was that I chose to write in plain format, which means that there were no italics and the whole thing looked just like a string of letters. I fixed it so that there were white spaces between paragraphs, but if the agent copies it to Word, there'll be double spaces. I chose to write in plain because then I'd be sure that there would be no funny letters in between (which sometimes happens in rich formatting). I've read multiple posts on how agents don't like fancy formats and such, so I made it as simple as I could. I have no idea if plain format is the right choice, but here's for hoping.
--> Don't use fancy fonts and decoration in your query letters.
I also kept to the point, but kept my voice, as many blog editors/agents recommend.
--> Keep your voice in the letter, but be professional.
I promise to post my query letter if I get published (if the publisher won't mind it). If you've been reading my blog, you'll see that I've complained about the lack of actual successful queries posted on the internet.
Well, it's independence day here in Iceland, 17th of June, and it's time to focus on my twins now. The celebration should be fun (even though I'll probably sneak in an hour or three of work).
Task for the day: Read 50 pages and then take a breather to enjoy the day.
Have a nice day!