Monday, May 16, 2011

Tip of the Day: Begin with a Bang!

Dear Bloggie Friends:
I am back! I had a wonderful vacation and I didn't want to come back :(
However, reality calls and I have tons of work waiting for me. So, this will be a very short post, actually a helpful tip from Jeff Rivera.

You Know Your Query Letter Sucks When - You Haven't Begun with a Bang

"How come Daddy? How come?" That's probably a three-year-old's favorite question and it forces the parent in the crutch of a busy day to stop what he is doing and think for a second. "Hmmm - Yeah, why is that dogs bark and cats meow?"

Questions are such a powerful tool when beginning your query letter because it forces the agent to stop for a moment and not use their clicker tool (aka the deleting finger of death). They have to pause, and it prompts them to read the next sentence.

I once wrote a query letter for a project called, "If I Could Do It All Over Again" and the question was, "if you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do all over again?" Interesting question, eh? Makes you think, and it made enough editors think that editors by the truckload requested to read the book proposal.

Questions work and they're a great way to hold the all-important attention of the agent. Start your query letter out with a question and you'll be one step closer to landing an agent.

Tip by Jeff Rivera, who is the founder of With over 100 clients to date, he has a 100% track record of getting at least 10 literary agents to request to read his client's manuscripts and proposals.
Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.


  1. Fab tip!!! I'm not at the querying stage yet but this is such a great help as I would never think of starting a query with a question! Thanks! Welcome back - glad you had a fab vacation!! Take care

  2. How true! When you start your query--and your novel--off with a bang, people can't help but read further. Great post and thanks for sharing the link!

  3. Hi Jennifer,
    Thank you! I will post some pics ;)
    Glad you liked this tip. I wouldn't have thought of it either. We always learn something new.

    Hi Alleged Author,
    Yep! My mentors always told me about the "hook". This is what'll capture your readers attention and make them want to continue reading. I guess the same is true for query letters ;)

  4. I'm glad you had a great vacation :).. Very useful tip, thank you for sharing!

  5. Hi WritingNut,
    Thank you! Happy to hear you liked the tip ;)