A common feature now at writers conferences, where attendees can spend 8 to 10 minutes, typically, meeting an agent or editor and pitching an article or book idea.
(San Francisco Writers Conference) Speed-dating for agents Literary Speed Dating: How Not to Find an Agent for Your Book ( Karen Dionne, Daily Finance, 2-13-11) Other conferences use the "pitch-slam," or "speed-dating" format to connect authors with agents.
The Conflicting Advice Youll Receive on Query Letters (Jane Friedman, 11-1-17) At its core, a query letter is a sales document, and so its meant to sell. And remember that in this day and age 'platform' is everything in commercial publishing, so most agents will look for your qualifications first." How to Write a Query Letter (agent Rachelle Gardner's advice is different from Agent Query's--give them what they want! or, really, how to revise query letters so they actually work (Query Shark, 9-4-16) Good "before-and-after-edits examples to show you what not to do) Three Agents Reveal What Theyre Really Looking for from Authors (Agents' Roundtable, Authors Guild, 6-22-16) What makes for a good query letter (the query before the full-length proposal); what else can authors do to make themselves appealing to an agent; how do agents shape their strategies for marketing a book and how actively involved and informed is the author; what makes for a successful pitch to a publisher; what does the agent look for in a publisher; what are publishers currently looking for in books; how the industry has changed. Spend a little time on this site studying how queries get rewritten and improved.
The new author pitch: Show, dont sell (Alan Rinzler, The Book Deal, 1-16-12) "Three new developments the etiquette of the softer sell, online connectivity and independent self-publishing have revolutionized pitching.
These have opened up a whole new world of alternative ways to craft different types of pitches, depending on your specific book and what it needs.
A query letter for a nonfiction book isnt all that different from a fiction query: youre still trying to get an agent or editor interested in looking at your work, but that may mean a book proposal and sample chapters, rather than the full manuscript.
(Nonfiction is often sold on the basis of a proposal.) She outlines the query letter elements needed for narrative-driven nonfiction, information-driven nonfiction, for a "narrative-driven hook that's not a tired storyline," what to include in first paragraph, and much more.