Agent Query Cover Letters

So, I have a question for anyone who has considered submitting to a literary agency or has submitted.  Have you ever written a cover letter instead of a query letter?

I’m working on one for the Sheldon Fogelman Agency, and I’m just not quite sure about it. I was wondering if anyone has some advice about typing one of these up.  I’ve got the synopsis down pretty good, I hope (gutting some of my query letter) but it’s mostly the bio I’m struggling with. I mean, I have not published a thing, anywhere! How does this sound to everyone?

I wrote Lulu Buys a Hat after my own experiences hunting for a good hat that wasn’t too expensive and looked just right. It took several shops, and a best friend in tow, to find the best hat in an area where hats are not a common thing.  When I am not writing picture books, I write weekly on my own WordPress blog, entitled Kate’s Bookshelf.  I was referred to your agency via the Writing and Illustrating blog, run by Kathy Temean.

Jazzy enough?   Yep, I am relying on you readers for some help. You’ve been great in the past and I am SOOOOOOOO nervous I’m going to do the wrong thing. I’ve only queried two agencies in the past.  So, any help you want to share would be great.

Alright bloggers. Have a marvelous Wednesday evening! I’m off to pick some jostaberries. Yes, that is a real thing. Ah, farm life. I wish it was more of a writing life (by which I mean published author writing life)

Signing off

Kate

Printed Books Are Fun

Aren’t those lovely? What are they, you ask? Well, I was feeling very adventurous so I printed up my children’s story ‘Lulu Buys A Hat’.  For those interested, making your own book isn’t exactly easy.  Especially when you don’t have a printer that likes collating.

You have to know how to stack pages so that they come out in book format. Again, not easy in the least.  Fortunately, I’ve done this several times for my own personal thing, or gifts. (stacked books, not printed my own books) Also, this was only three pages, four if you count the cover with the title. The hardest part was actually creating the binding and making sure the scrapbook paper covered the card stock I used for the binding.

Inside the cover

They turned out better than I expected, and it is somewhat thrilling to see something of your own, printed and bound.  I can’t wait for the day that these actually have pictures.  Because, yes, these are supposed to be picture books.

My father finally got to read the completed, and edited version (funny story about that. See below this paragraph).  His comment was totally girly.  Well, duh!  It’s about a girl who buys a hat.  Do you know of a guy that is really going to want to read about a girl buying a hat? I don’t.

Regarding the editing?  Well, apparently, even though I have gone over this story several times, I missed a few words.  It wasn’t until I printed it the first time Mrs. Day asked if I had edited a second time. Of course I hadn’t, so she ran through it. And obviously she found some words I had missed. The one that I laughed the most at was ‘window’ being ‘winder’.  What was I thinking there? Well, it’s all pretty now. I’m sure there are still mistakes. I don’t actually have an editor for this, sorry George. While I totally trust everything you say, even you have missed things.

Anyways, it was fun to do this.  Now to finish the query letters for this one, collect a few agents to query and we are getting somewhere.

(for those that read Escaping the Inkwell, sorry for the double post)

Signing off

~Kate

A Good Children’s Story

A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest. ~ C. S. Lewis

I think that statement quite profound and really quite true.  I love children’s books.  Good children’s books.  It helps that I keep my eyes open for new children’s books for my sister who has down syndrome.  She is a perpetual child, so I have gotten my fill of listening to Brian Jacques’ Redwall series, Harry Potter, The American Girl Collection, The Hobbit, and various others.  I keep my eyes open for ones that sound interesting at the library, and yes, I occasionally read them myself.  Why, even today I brought home a book from the juvenile section.

Now, most of the time I find it hard to get into the Happy Hollister books, or the American Girl books… Lord please no…., but I respect and appreciate them. I mean, I did go through all of those several times.  I actually find it easier to read picture books!  Yes, I love to look through picture books.  I am not ashamed of admitting it because its true.

I have been criticized for being in the picture books by library employees.  Yes, they think I’m too old to be there.  Um, when my goal is to write picture books, how is it too old to be there?  I just brush it off and go back to reading Dr. Seuss, Bill Peet, Jill Barklem, and others that I find fun.  When I come across a new picture book I bring it home for my mother to evaluate as well. I like her take on books because, well, it was her reading to me and my sister as much as she did that created a monster of a reader… ME! 

I think more people should try out a children’s book now and then.  Many of them are quite enjoyable despite their association with a younger audience.  I mean, the whole Narnia series is meant for children, but I still find them quite fascinating.  Same with various other books. 

I could go on and on about this, but I dare you to go into the children’s section of the library or book store and find a children’s book to read.  There are some really great ones out there.  (there are also some really bad ones too, but then they are not good children’s stories)

Signing off

~Kate