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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > Query letter help? Sci fi Beauty and the Beast retelling

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message 1: by Rita (last edited Oct 14, 2016 04:37PM) (new)

Rita Stradling (stradling) | 21 comments Hello :) If anyone would be willing to help with my query letter before I send it in, it would be very much appreciated!! I'm hoping to send this letter in to a specific editor at Carina Press so it does have some directed comments and statistics that they need.

***this is updated the original one is posted below in the 2nd comment of the thread***
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Alainn has only ever made one wish: to watch every casino burn to the ground. If smoldering husks lined the new San Francisco bay front, her father would have the money to pay the restitution owed to the recluse billionaire, Lorccan Garbhan.

The court laid a clear edict: he must produce the commissioned AI robot, repay Mr. Garbhan or turn himself in to the police. On the eve of the deadline, her father has nothing but his future to give away. Despite Alainn’s cajoling, threatening and finally, begging, the AI robot Rose 76GF refuses to submit to a life of menial service in Mr. Garbhan’s tower.

As the sun rises on the day of the deadline, Alainn wakes to find Rose watching her sleep, waiting to offer an alternative. If Alainn delivers herself to live as an AI robot in Rose’s place, Rose will extract her in two week’s time. Rose 76GF mapped out the details of her plan for months, even manufacturing custom hardware for Alainn's disguise, yet she gives Alainn only minutes to decide. It is a mistake to trust the plan. Yet, it’s the only viable choice that would save her father from a five year prison sentence.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn discovers a different fate awaits her trapped in the tower of the strange, scarred Mr. Garbhan.

Ensnared is a science fiction romance standalone novel complete at 82,000 words.

To promote my books, I have author pages on Facebook, Twitter and Linkdin. As well, I connect with fans over my website, blog and Goodreads author account. My novels have been featured or reviewed on over a hundred blogs and review sites, including Parajunkee’s View, Book Passion for Life and the Midwest Book Review.


message 2: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey (kelsey_simon) | 103 comments Okay. Go visit http://queryshark.blogspot.com/

I'm afraid that you might not have a solid grasp yet of what a query these days looks like -- at least with respect of what an agent looks for in a query. In your bio, I would leave out all the stuff about having followers. 500 on a few different sites (although nice) is not enough to get an agent interested. The single line about being reviewed and featured is solid, and mentioning the self-publishing is important, but everything else can be thrown out.

You should not include anything about a book trailer or website for the book at this stage.

Your entire second paragraph except the first line is complete TELLING. Delete all of it. Its just a waste of words and agents hate this kind of thing. Don't write a paragraph going hey, this is what my book is about, show them what it is about through the characters, plot, setting.

You need to rewrite the entire thing with the follow general set up:

Who the character is. Why we should care about them. Potential line about setting. What problem does the character face. The stakes of the choice involving this problem.

Query shark is a fantastic!!! site if you are just learning to write queries. Janet Reid has basically transformed the entire way that writers approach queries now, and what agents expect from a query and in one.


message 3: by Rita (new)

Rita Stradling (stradling) | 21 comments This is the original query:

An Adult Near-Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes the place of the unfit AI robot that had been designed for the billionaire, Lorrcan Garbhan. Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the tortured, scarred recluse.

Ensnared is a science fiction romance standalone novel complete at 82,000 words. While this book has many space opera elements, it’s set on Earth in the near future with many technologies that will be emerging in the next ten years. While I believe that this book does contain many of the elements you are looking for in your ‘contemporary crack’ search, the characters in this book are ruled by their dysfunctions. The small band of humans suffer everything from crippling mysophobia to PTSD to a compulsive gambling addiction, but find themselves better together.

While I have been writing and self-publishing since 2012, I only recently focused on building a social media following. My blog, Rita Stradling Books, and website of the same name collectively have five hundred followers. On Goodreads, I have over six hundred combined friends and followers. On my professional social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Linkdin, I have approximately five hundred followers. My novels have been featured or reviewed on over a hundred blogs and review sites, including Parajunkee’s View, Book Passion for Life and the Midwest Book Review.

Thank you for your time.

((this was written for a specific editor who asked for how many followers you had, but I think I took it too literally so I crossed it out above))


message 4: by Rita (new)

Rita Stradling (stradling) | 21 comments Kelsey wrote: "Okay. Go visit http://queryshark.blogspot.com/

I'm afraid that you might not have a solid grasp yet of what a query these days looks like -- at least with respect of what an agent looks for in a q..."


Thank you, for your help! I am familiar with query shark but it's been like 5 years since I wrote a query letter or researched it, so thank you for directing me. I updated the query but clarified that it was updated and that the original was below. Thanks again!


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