compare or not to compare, that is the query question.
thinks his book is unique.
oneself to Harry Potter/Twilight/Hunger Games feels both pretentious and
other books in your genre shows you’ve done your homework – by reading.
other authors is gracious.
be honest, I’ve never compared my manuscripts to published works in any of the
many queries I’ve written even though some agents request a title comparison.
the characteristics of a manuscript can be tricky. Humor is in the ear of the
beholder. Saying a novel is sweet feels cloying, while describing it as edgy
sounds like the author is trying too hard to be teen-like. You get my drift.
went through my Goodreads list to search for books that share qualities with my
novel. I was particularly interested in recent debut novels that had made a
splash or books by established authors that were solid sellers, but not
something along the lines of “[My title] will appeal to readers who enjoyed
[characteristic] in [novel title] by [author], [publisher, date]” is less
off-putting than claiming my manuscript is the next The Da Vinci Code.
novel summary should follow the emotional sweep of the novel. It’s easy for me
to succinctly summarize the plot points, but especially with action novels, the
character arc is key.
for 250-300 words for the plot summary. While many query-writing experts
expound on the benefits of an elevator pitch and caution against more than 50
words or three sentences, nearly every positive example of a compelling query falls
within this longer limit.
enough of the plot so the story makes sense. A seemingly unrelated string of
events is not interesting. The reader needs to know why the character is doing
things. See the first point.
forget the hook. What is interesting about the novel? Why should an editor or
agent scroll down to look at those first five pages?