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Ask Daphne! About My Query LXXXIII

flying_shoes_punambean1How does short and sweet work for you?

Dear About My Query:

My name is Calista, and I have a Clear designation.

I was seventeen when the Consilium marked me, and I let them.

They told me I was unique, and I believed them.

They burned my home with my family inside, and I survived.

Their control is slipping, and I am the key.

They want me dead, and I will fight back.

MARKED, a Young Adult Dystopian, is complete at 80,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration,


For me, although there a quite a few teasers of what this book is about, it’s more like flap copy, and not enough for a query letter. What does a “Clear designation” mean? What about “marked”? Who are the Consilium?

This also breaks one of my top “don’t”s for query letters — don’t have your characters query me. C.V. is not Calista, and I not only want to know more about the character, but also the author.

If this was written in third person, would it be enough? Not really. A query isn’t just flap copy, a few lines to entice someone who’s already picked up the book (maybe because of the shiny cover) to read more. You’re one of hundreds of emails an agent may get in his or her inbox in any given day — is this going to get them to read more?

Not for me. I’m intrigued, but if you don’t make the effort to tell me more, why should I?

Do you agree? Disagree?

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