So often, writers focus their energy on creating compelling finished books, then throw up their hands in frustration when it comes to producing query letters and finding agents. But a good query letter can make the difference between your letter getting deleted and your pages actually getting read. In this class, we’ll discuss who these mysterious literary agents are, and the essential five paragraphs that make up a query letter, including the elevator pitch, author bio, and the dreaded comparison books. We’ll take a look at some query letters that won the notice of agents. We’ll review your elevator pitches and author bios, and discuss whether a good title makes a difference, why rhetorical questions are a no-no, and how you can do a little test marketing.
Betsy Thorpe started in book publishing as an assistant at Atheneum, eventually becoming an acquiring and developmental editor while working at HarperCollins, Broadway Books (Random House), Macmillan, and John Wiley & Sons. She then started Betsy Thorpe Literary Services, which helps authors deliver their best work to the public, either through publishers or self-publishing. She is the co-author of numerous nonfiction books, including three featured in The New York Times, and has published three novels under the pen name of Hope Carolle with Dragonblade Publishing in 2023.
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