Ian McEwan appreciates brevity. According to Shelf Awareness, at a BEA breakfast Mr. Nobel-Prize-Any-Year-Now stood up and quoted Herodotus: “‘No man should speak longer than he can make love.’ So thank you very much.” And then he started to go back to his seat before he continued his speech.
So, in the spirit of Ian McEwan, and also because I’m extremely busy today, this will be a short post. You will have plenty of time to get back to reading ON CHESIL BEACH in just a moment.
One reason agents are such sticklers regarding queries is that, well, we write them too, only they’re not called queries. They’re called pitch letters.
When agents submit manuscripts to publishers they include a pitch letter, calling attention to the salient parts of a manuscript/proposal, the marketability, draws attention to how awesome the author is, and which basically hopes to pursuade the editor to put the manuscript/proposal at the top of the pile and to see what the agent saw in the project. Styles of pitch letters vary greatly from agent to agent and range from “Here’s the manuscript” to magnificent opuses that should be framed in a museum, but the basic function is the same — to get someone’s attention.
So, you see, we know how hard it is to write query letters too — it’s part of our job description.
SNEAK PREVIEW: have you ever wanted to write a novel with a friend but had no idea how you’d go about making it sound like one book? Well, on Thursday we’ll have a guest blogger who has done just that.. Anne Dayton from Good Girl Lit will be here to talk about how to write a novel with a friend without killing each other. Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt’s latest novel, THE BOOK OF JANE, is on sale today.