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Even Queries Embrace Your Voice

At BookEnds we do a lot of brainstorming, critiquing and advising, especially when writing pitch letters (the agents version of a query letter). The one thing I’ve noticed during this process is how distinct each of our voices is. Every single BookEnds agent, like every single author, has her own unique writing style and it shows in the pitch. Of course part of our job is to also try to show the author’s voice and style and grab an editor’s attention.

While we help each other immensely in this process, especially when it comes to streamlining, tightening and making sure we’re hitting all major key points, we also need to hold on to our own style and allow the other agents to do the same.

When writing your query it is important that the voice you’ve honed when writing your book comes through, that the reader feels that this is a suspense, a comedy, YA or a picture book. It’s also important that you make sure the writing is tight and you hit all of those points that will make the reader go, “ah! I have to read this.”

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2 comments

  1. Another very interesting post, dear Jessica. I must ask: Is it true that agents get a lot of bad queries for great books and the other way around? An agent I know keeps saying that. Truth is, my writing voice did come through in some of my queries, yes, but only after a whoooooooole lot of polishing. This isn’t the case with writing though, when I’m in a manuscript it’s like jumping in my pajamas, very comfortable. My take on this (bad query great book, great query meh book) is that writers aren’t always talented anetrepreneurs, and writing a good query takes a marketer. On the other hand, it takes an entreprenuer-marketer-writer to grip, hold, surprise and satisfy readers who go with the trends, I get that, and writers have to be it all, but sometimes it happens too late (AFTER they sent a lot of bad queries, LOL). What do you guys think?

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