Query This!

by, Lindsey Salatka

I did it! I wrote a book. See that item on the top of my list of life goals? Now see me slap a fat check mark next to it. Yippee! Next stop, publishing!
Oh, if it were only that easy.
I always figured I would self-publish. My life goal did not say write-a-book-and-traditionally-publish-it, it just said write a book. Plus, there is this thing called fear of rejection? I have it by the truck load. Since most people I like have this fear too and they are still contributing members of society, I have always tucked said fear into my pants and kept moving. But like a gargantuan iphone jammed into the front pocket of skinny jeans, it keeps popping out, especially when traditional publishing gets mentioned. Hey, get back in there, Fear! Don’t be such a menace. Don’t make me try to overcome you…
Then Marni Freedman, my writing coach/ cheerleader (who got me to the check mark) advised me to ditch the fear. Yes, she said to flick the forehead of the monster under my bed and go for traditional publishing. Marni must have plugged this idea at just the right moment (Perhaps it was the equinox? Or at least a day when I was wearing jeans with deeper than normal pockets.). What the heck, I shrugged. After all, most of the efforts necessary for traditional publishing (build a platform, self-promote, attempt to look massively important and popular) are also needed for self-publishing. What’s that you say? I just need to write a few query letters?
Hello, Agony Otherwise Known As Writing Query Letters, where I shamelessly sing my own praises while sounding humble. Where I am serious and lion-hearted, albeit irreverent and funny. Looky here, Agents- I am fresh! And unique! But also very similar to someone you already represent. Dearest Agent, you will love my work! And I know this because I have memorized the dates of all of your major life events along with every other scrap of data I found on the 29 pages Google has devoted to you and the other (lesser) individuals who share your name. But I am not remotely creepy. Just informed and diligent. But also really busy and as you can see from the bio I slotted smoothly into the bottom third of this query letter, in demand. We’re all familiar with the term bidding war. Looks like someone better scratch out a contract, fast.
There I go jesting again! What I meant to say is, Most Spectacular Agent(s) for which I have composed this sonnet (currently christened query letter), please know that if you choose to welcome me into your loving fold of potential publishees, I will now and forever be your grateful servant. And while my exacting and fastidious beta readers can be heard shouting from rooftops, “Fish Heads and Duck Skin is impeccable, nay flawless!” I will eagerly await your suggested revisions. However, if instead you choose to reject my work, I will cry. And then I will assume you made a grievous mistake. And then I will kick the monster under my bed for being right. And then I will remember that the monster and I are friends now so I will apologize and dust him off and offer him toffees. And finally I will read the sticky note that I stuck to my toothbrush when I finished the darn book that says YO DINGBAT, THE GOAL WAS TO WRITE IT, NOT TO PUBLISH IT. And then I will yank the trophy I ordered online from the dumpster where I flung it and stomp out the fire that I set to it. And I will lift this trophy over my head while grinning ear to ear and do an end zone dance. And then I will bellow THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTED ME! into my inverted hairbrush. Because I DID IT! I actually wrote a book. And whether I traditionally publish it, self-publish it, or bury it in a Twinkie fortified time capsule and launch it into the ether, writing a book is a huge accomplishment. Great job, Me!

Most sincerely,
Lindsey Salatka

Finisher, #1 Item on List of Life Goals
Author, Fish Heads and Duck Skin