I’ve recently entered a few “contests” that are new twists on the age old query letter.
In one contest, you enter 3 sentences about your book (pretty difficult) and the other you enter a one sentence about your book….!
Most writers I know have a hard enough time coming up with a one page query letter, much less condensing it down to a few sentences, but this is a great practice by agents to get people to focus their words and ideas.
I was actually able to boil one of my books down to one sentence and I was very happy with it. It was strecthing muscles I am not used to stretching, so it was fun.
I wish more agents would do different things like this, since it’s so hard to push through the slush. It seems that query letters, while effective, are just ONE way to get an agent. By mixing it up a little, agents are making it easier to get your stuff seen by them. Heck, one sentence is a quick and painless way to get through the slush quickly and efficiently. And don’t come crying to me, telling me, it’s too hard to condense your story into one sentence. If you can’t do that, you don’t know what the hook is. If you don’t know what the hook is, you need to figure it out, because no one else will know until you do. How can an agent sell your book or even pick it up if you dont know the hook? If they dont have the hook to sell it, no editor will ever pick it up, and by default neither will an egent.
So sort yourself, get one sentence, and start sending it out. If you don’t have the one sentence — get it!