Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My successful query + offer to help!


Are you dealing with query fear? Well, I don't blame you. Queries are just about the worst thing ever. Okay...maybe there are a few worse things in this world. But when it comes to the process of getting published, querying is no fun. If you're busy crafting your query for the Wilde's Fire Editor Judged Contest and feeling frustrated, or if you're hesitant to enter because of the query, I want to help.

Below I posted the query that got me a full request and ultimately got me a publishing deal with Curiosity Quills. I'm not saying that I'm a query genius, but it worked! :)

If you're new to querying, I suggest you check out this link - The Parts of a Good Query Letter. Susan Dennard is a query genius.

Finally, if your name is listed on the linky here, I'll be happy to look at your query and first 500 words before you post. Of course, you'll also get feedback from other entrants before you submit your final copy, but if you want another pair of eyes before you even post, email me at sharonebayliss (at) yahoo (dot) com. Please send your query by 5/22.

Good luck!





Dear Curiosity Quills Editor,

Eighteen-year-old Warren King has been protecting his brother, Isaac, from bullies ever since Isaac decided to wear a top hat to the third grade.  So when Isaac is kidnapped, Warren heads out to bust some faces.  But Warren didn’t expect the bully to be the King of the Texas Empire.  Warren’s mother confesses that Warren and his brother are some of the last members of the Texas royal family.  The new King is hunting down his relatives before the true heir decides to say, “Hey man, you’re in my seat.”

Warren must save his brother and avoid capture himself armed with nothing more than a fifteen year old Camry and MapQuest directions to Texas.  He gets help from a spirited Texan named Lena who is first girl that ever made him want to do things like iron creases in his pants.  She’s ready to help him take on the King, but since she’s an anti-monarchy activist dating the son of the President of the United States, he’s not sure if she’s going to kiss him or shoot him.  Gone are the days when choosing a major was a big deal.  Now he must embark into a West that stayed wild and choose to be King, follow a King, or die before he can retire his fake ID.

THE CHARGE is an 80,000 word New Adult science fiction adventure set on an alternate timeline where a dictator took over the Republic of Texas in 1836 and built his own empire in the West.  It can stand alone, but I have outlined it to be the first book in a five part series.

Sincerely,

Sharon Bayliss

27 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful, Sharon! And now I'm really excited for The Charge. It sounds very exciting and OMG if your voice from your query is translated to your character voice...it's going to be too much fun :D

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  2. Thanks for sharing your query. I love reading successful queries. :)

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  3. That is so good, Sharon! Pure talent ;<)

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  4. And if you think the query is good, you should read the book!

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  5. Awwww....thanks all. You're so sweet.

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  6. wow, this is a really good query. I love how you managed to weave the world in with the plot!

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  7. Wow, short and sweet. YOu have a very high concept book here. Can't wait to read it:) Still debating if I want to put myself out there in your contest *deep sigh* Congrats on all your success--much deserved!

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    1. You should do it! The worst thing that can happen is that you'll still be where you are now, but you'll have feedback on your query and first 500. :) Thanks for your kind words! My previous project was kind of hard to explain in a one-liner, so I was definitely going for high concept this time around. Glad I succeeded. :)

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  9. I agree with the rest of the comments here! Your book sounds exciting! Thanks for sharing your query...with the world. As I wrestle with mine, I can never see enough good examples. In fact, how cool would that be to see queries of best-seller authors too, right? ;)

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    1. Thanks for your comment and kind words! It would be really cool to see bestsellers. I'd like to see Harry Potter and Twilight. :)

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  10. Sounds awesome! I emailed you my stuff, just so you know I had trouble with the email address you posted, so I just tried your name without the "e" in the middle and that finally went through. Is that the correct address?

    thanks again!

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    1. Hi Devin,

      That is someone's correct email, but it's not me. :) Unfortunately someone else snagged plain old sharonbayliss. You can also try me at sharonbayliss (at) att.net or use the "Contact Me" page. I hope to get your email soon!

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  11. General note to all...if I haven't responded to your query to at least say I got it, then I didn't. Please try sending again. If you have trouble with my yahoo address, you can cut and paste into my contact form.

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  12. Hello Sharon, I've just emailed you my first 500 pages and query letter. I look forward to hearing what you think. Thanks so much for doing this! :)

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  13. Thanks for the link! And, yep, your query is a winner:)

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  14. Thanks for the offer for help, I'll be sending you my query at some point today, not sure about the first 500 words or not, I'm pretty confident about those, but not at all sure about the query!

    I'm also assuming we should follow the Curiosity Quills guidelines for query letters for this contest?

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    1. Sounds great Rebekah! I look forward to reading your query. I passed along your question to Krystal and I'll let you know. It seems like good sense, but you'll probably be okay with or without a bio. But I'll double check. :)

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    2. Krystal was kind enough to get back to me from vacation. She says that following the Curiosity Quills submission guidelines for the query would in fact be a good thing. They mainly don't like to see a bio section because they want to judge the work on it's merits, not all your qualifications or lack thereof. If you include your bio for the contest, it won't be the end of the world, just FYI.

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  15. Hey Sharon,

    I've left you an award on my blog. Also I'm working on my query. I'll resend to you later tomorrow to see what you think. You helped me a lot. Appreciate it so much! :)

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    1. Hey Jade,

      Thank you so much for the award! I'll be waiting for that query. So glad I was helpful.

      Sharon

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  16. Wow great query, I would love to read your book just from that! I'm not quite at the querying stage in my writing yet, but I hope to be soon! That was really helpful.
    Thanks for sharing :)

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