Two years ago, my agent stopped trying to sell my nonfiction book because the biggest publishing houses rejected it. Now, I’m sending a revised query letter to different literary agents because I really really want to write this book (under contract with a book publisher)!
Back then, I was sorta relieved that a publisher didn’t buy it because I loved blogging full-time for “Quips and Tips. But now I’m ready to embark on a new writing adventure.
If you have any tips or thoughts on how I can improve this query letter, I’d be grateful!
Big or little comments welcome…the more critical, the better.
How Can I Improve on This e-Query Letter to Literary Agents?
Query – 101 Secrets From Women Who Weren’t Well-Behaved
Dear Powerful, Wise Literary Agent,
Take a traditional biography, add a twist, and what do you have? Practical, inspirational life tips for readers!
Most biographies or anthologies describe how people accomplished great things or survived incredible situations – but few offer magazine-sidebar style takeaways that enchant and delight.
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SEE JANE SOAR!
101 SECRETS FROM WOMEN WHO WEREN’T WELL-BEHAVED
“Well-behaved women rarely make history,” said Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. That’s because well-behaved women don’t rescue men in the Wild West, discover radium, or achieve Hollywood stardom after being fired from countless chorus lines. Well-behaved women don’t speed 300 miles/hour around a race track, trek in the Egyptian desert in full Victorian garb – and they certainly don’t soar into the mysterious unknown.
But, well-behaved women do have secrets…and we want to know them.
This book – SEE JANE SOAR – proudly features 101 short, snappy biographies of women who weren’t well-behaved, and weaves in specific life lessons for readers.
This book offers more than a glimpse into history, more than a nod to women who paved the way. SEE JANE SOAR spills the secrets of successful women and gives readers permission to pursue their dreams – whether they want to travel to India, apply for a business loan, or leave a bad relationship. (And, yes, many women need permission to act! I’ve heard countless women say, “I gave myself permission to…”)
Sometimes fearfully, always relentlessly, these women made their dreams come true. Let’s explore their personality traits and expose their secrets – and show readers how to create legacies of their own.
SEE JANE SOAR Summary
SEE JANE SOAR is a collection of inspirational biographies that offers practical life tips for female readers. This book profiles 101 historical and contemporary women in short, reader-friendly 500-700 word summaries. Each summary includes a magazine sidebar-style life application (~200 words), so readers can quickly and easily see what made these women successful. They can apply those secrets, tips, and strategies to their own lives.
SOAR Series potential
Why stop at SEE JANE SOAR? How about SEE JACK SOAR (life tips from men who made history), or even SEE SPOT SOAR (lessons from smart, courageous animals)? We could get even more specific, and highlight athletes, senior citizens, baby boomers, teenagers, people with disabilities, etc.
Also, this book could easily morph into a calendar or daily journal for holiday or first-day-of-school gifts.
My Bio and Platform – The “Adventurous Writer”
I’m Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen – The Adventurous Writer – a full-time freelance writer and blogger in Vancouver, BC, Canada. My work has appeared in magazines such as Reader’s Digest, Woman’s Day, Writer’s Digest, Health, and More. My degrees are in Psychology and Education, from the University of Alberta in Canada.
I created and maintain the “Quips and Tips” network of blogs, including Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals; Quips and Tips for Successful Writers; Quips and Tips for Money and Love; and Quips and Tips for Couples Coping With Infertility.
It needs some tweaking, but I also created the See Jane Soar blog. If SEE JANE SOAR has potential, I’ll revamp the blog to make it more appealing, with posts that better reflect the nature of the book.
Can I send you a book proposal, or answer any questions?
Thank you for your time!
Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.
So, fellow scribes…got any tips for improving this query letter?