Tonight, I sat down at my living room table and began reading links that were given to me by some amazing colleagues in my SCBWI Yahoo Group. What I found out was that I had been writing my query letter wrong for 12 years!
My practice in the past has been one copied query about Barney & Lexi and then sent out. What I was doing so wrong was that I was giving no attention to the literary agent I hoped would help guide my career but asking for their attention.
As I read the links that were generously provided, I found out that writing to many at one time, if discovered, can sour many agents because they can lose that personal connection from you since discovering you had none with them. Give to get is always the best policy.
After reading the articles, I sat down and read through some profiles of literary agents. In order to gain recognition, I must first recognize! I read until I came to an agent that needed to be my first choice.
Agent, Kerry Sparks of Levine Greenberg Literary Agency caught my attention as a lover of children’s literature. Being from rural Oregon originally, I found similar comparisons to Lawrenceville and how rural communities effect Barney & Lexi.
So, with some time, I sat and wrote my query. This time, I let Kerry know that she was the first one I was speaking with and not secretly shopping around behind her. I want to gain her trust and let her know that I took the time to read up on her before writing.
This query was written just for her, NOT a copied paper query that was given to many. Simple, happy and to the guts of the story, I was happy to send her the first 25 pages of Barney & Lexi. I know that Barney & Lexi are just as excited as I am!
So, as I close for the night, one eye is closing quickly, if you want attention, give attention. Give it first and Live With Passion!!!