Workshop: Pass the Shovel, It's Getting Deep Lesson Six by Angelica Hart and Zi
Close the Tank! (Finishing)
Once you have typed the end, your book is completed. It should have a beginning, a middle and an ending. Now, you could put it on a shelf and never reveal it to the world, however, part of the joy of storytelling is to share.
A: Like when I share my donuts.
Z: You never share your donuts!
A: Oh, that's right, it's the peanut butter cookies I share.
Z: That's cause you're allergic to peanut butter.
A: Your point?
Z: (Sighs) It's time to bring this to a close.
Part of sharing is finding a publisher, which brings us to the point of preparing a query letter, blurb and synopsis. Finding a publisher is a whole other lesson, and this time around we've only committed to six! However, the Internet is remarkable, just research your markets, your genre, and make a stop at Predators and Editors. If you have any questions about it, we're just an email away.
Submitting your work to a publisher is no different than applying for a job. You want to put your best efforts forward.
While writing a query letter you should ~
Keep it simple and professional
Save your creativity for the body of the letter
Read the publisher's guidelines for submission
Use your standard 1" all around format and a clean font like Times New Roman
Everything is flush left, single space with a line between paragraphs.
Address letter to a specific editor, if possible
Fine points of the letter ~
Opening paragraph should include book title, pen name if you have one, word count, and genre.
Second/Third paragraph should have a blurb about your book.
Next paragraph should be a bio
Credits if you have any
Education (as in taking writing classes or a degree)
Final paragraph should bring everything to a close in a polite manner, mention if this is a multiple submission.
Keep a copy for yourself
If sending s-mail, include a self-addressed stamped envelope for their response
This should appear in the body of your letter, no more than two paragraphs. Think of the back cover of a book. It sums up the story in an enticing way.
Writing a synopsis is similar to an outline except not in outline form. We usually take each chapter of the book and write a paragraph summing it up. Most synopsis are no more than two pages, so you might have to blend chapters, but make certain to reveal all key elements, including the resolution of the story.
Well, that's it! We have provided enough to get you started. If you have any questions, would like examples of a query letter, blurb, or synopsis, or would like some input on your blurb, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org with lesson six in the subject line.
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