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More Query Dos and Don’ts

A reader asked:

In a ‘How to Write a Query Letter’ book I read recently, the author recommends no more than three concisely written sentences in the Blurb. Additionally, the author recommends the avoidance of naming characters in the blurb because it slows the agent’s reading speed and makes them pause to think. Would you agree with these statements, and why?

I think you miss something if you try to avoid names completely in your query, especially if your book is about characters. That being said, I also think you have problems if you try to include every character. There’s no easy answer for this because it’s going to depend on the blurb and how it’s written. I think it’s fine to include names, but as with everything in a blurb it’s important to streamline and tighten at all times.

Category: Blog



  1. I can’t quite grasp the difference between a summary and a blurb. Do both appear in a query letter? I have never queried a novel before — so this is all new to me.

    Jane P.

    1. I suspect the summary and blurb are the same thing. A synopsis is the synopsis of your boo. It’s usually 1-10 pages and reveals all the important information/plot lines of your book, including the ending. A blurb or summary is used in the query letter and is best described as the cover copy for your final book. In fact, some publishers have used what is essentially the query blurb for cover copy.

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