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The Importance of Query Critique Groups

BRYAN FAGAN

The other day I experienced a fascinating bit: I helped a writer with their query. I suggested trimming a few lines, I added a few more and overall she was extremely pleased.

When it comes to doing my own I’m pretty sure I’d rather drink a vinegar milkshake instead. My mind shuts down. Nothing happens. After a while I have to have someone else do it. Yes, I probably need help.

Thanks for this. I’ll never stop trying…..I think.

Thank you, Bryan, for this comment on my post about The Art of the Query. You nailed exactly what every writer needs to do. You need to get yourself a critique group for queries only. That’s what we have here at BookEnds. Almost every pitch we write goes through round after round of critique, feedback, and advice from the Team — people who have never read the book and are reading the pitch the way an editor or, in your case, an agent would.

Not only will a query critique group help your pitch, but by editing and reading other pitches/queries you will learn a lot about what makes a strong pitch and how a pitch can help with book revisions.

Good luck!

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2 comments

  1. I need to tell my kids that their old man said something that made sense. 🙂

    We get so caught up in our own work it is almost impossible to write a summery of it in one page. My editor ended of writing my query and when she did it was one of my happiest days. She’s a published author so she knew what she was doing.

    For those of us who struggle we need to find other ways to create a solid query that will help sell our work. If it takes an editor or a team of writers, so be it. We work way to hard to mess it up in one page.

    Thanks!!!!

    Bryan

  2. The query is so important because it helps open the door to getting manuscript pages read. My critique partners read and crit my query, but I had never thought about having a separate crit team. Great advice, though, Jessica, because it makes sense (why didn’t I think it through before?).

    My CPs know the story so the query would make sense to them because they could fill in any gaps. I’m going to have to find some people to crit the query who have no idea what my story is to see if it really works *light bulb*.

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