THE SUREFIRE QUERY LETTER IS HERE!!

Okay…so enough of you have asked me about my patented (well, not really) 4-step plan to a Surefire Query Letter! You’ve also asked me to share my letter which went out to 12 agents. 22 responded within 3 weeks (many within days), each asking for exclusives. I ultimately went with an agent who never saw the letter.

It worked for me…good luck and tell me if it works for you – jennifer@jennifersolow.com

In any case, here are the 4 steps:

1. Make your first sentence STUNning. Remember that agents get 100’s of these letters each day. Grab them by the gullet from the very beginning.

2. Synopsize your book in a quick and compelling way. Find a way to describe your book succinctly. You’ll use that description gain and again at every juncture.

3. Offer up a reason why there is a market for your book (even for fiction). In other words, why will your manuscript be sellable. Do this in an uncoventional and tonally appropriate way.

4. Make a connection between the agent and you.
This could take networking and/or creativity. Research your choice agents to death – read their authors, find out where they went to highschool, find some way of making it feel like they’re THE ONLY agent for your book. Because why? Tell them.

Everything else is up for grabs. I wrote 2 pages with a LOT of white space (most people write one, crowded page) and didn’t send a writing sample. I put it in a big bright orange envelope and printed it out on heavy, expensive paper. I sent to 12 with 12 back-ups in the wings.

Here is my letter to Bill Clegg (now with William Morris). Despite the breezy tone, this was draft 36 and 3 months of revision. Bill responded with within 24 hours.

Bill,

I’d like to profess that stealing a box of Golden Life Henna in the 7th grade was the end of my illustrious shoplifting career, but if we’re getting down to the short hairs here, I also stole a tube of organic toothpaste from Whole Foods less than a year ago.
$12.95! For toothpaste! I mean, c’mon. Gift with purchase, I like to say.

Actually, I wouldn’t mine stealing something right now.

Christ, it’d be easier than writing this letter. Three years of work down to a page, page and a half. The pressure to be charming here is enormous, you must know.

Maybe this afternoon. When I finish the letter.

So my book’s called The Booster and our heroine is not that different from me. Or possibly a more fabulous me. The Carrie Bradshaw I am in my imagination.

Here’s what I say when people inevitably ask me, “so, what’s your book about?”
Upper East Side Jewish American Princess kleptomaniac living the seemingly quintessential Manhattan life, loses job, loses boyfriend, loses housekeeper and winds up (long story short) joining a Peruvian Shoplifting Ring.

It is here our klepto learns what’s truly important in her life. Ahf tsores aside, it’s a happy ending kind of story.

For our 29-year old heroine, shoplifting* is better than orgasms:

“… Her breath pounds out in heaves. Her teeth chatter, droplets of sweat trickle down her side sending out a rank perfume, her nipples harden. She swallows a mouthful of saliva, the gulp of it echoing in her head. A quick slide off with a nimble hand and poof…it is gone.”

Pulizer Prize winning author, Alison Lurie singled out The Booster for praise as “an emerging work” at Sewanee Writer’s Conference, characterizing it as “lively writing, true to the female experience.”

Bill, Augusten Burrows, author and friend, simply insisted (as is his way) that, “Haven Kimmel loves Bill Clegg,” and that I should send you a query. That was good enough for me.

Please send the enclosed postcard if you’d like to see a sample of The Booster.

Thank you for your consideration and time,

Jennifer Solow

*9 million American women shoplift. ‘Shoplifting’ is the new ‘Bulimia’. 9 million dirty little secrets sell a lot of books. And magazines. And t-shirts. And action figures.

——–
TO READ AN EXCERPT OF THE MANUSCRIPT HE SAW CLICK HERE.

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A bribe from Seb Carroll. Honey Slave, Labour Organizer.

For any of you who think I might not accept their dare, I bring you Seb, The Brave:
——–
Ok, how about this…

I’m going to talk about someone I know. Virtually. This person is a gifted, gifted writer. One of the best I’ve ever read, in fact. I’m quite serious. Every word that I have read is precise, necessary, meaningful. Style oozes from phrases like yoghurt being squeezed between your toes. The prose is prosaic, the the style is stylistic, and the rhythm is rhythmic. The metre is metrical, and the yard is yardical. Imagine taking a bath in warm honey, while being fed chocolates by a slave, and having your feet massaged by a professional honey-foot-massager. Well, imagine no longer.

If you want to experience this for yourself, simply click here: sebcarroll’s blog.

Does that sound ok? If you could copy and paste it into your blog, then I’ll think of something nice to write about your book…

🙂
——-
I only hope you can repay me with equal public abandon

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It’s a mani-pedi. It’s a reading. It’s a mani-pedi reading.


It was a rough night for a famous author!

FIRST, Bliss Spa invited me to do a reading AT THE SPA, complete with massages, eyebrow waxing and mani-pedis for all who braved the swanky trek up from the ground floor of the W Hotel.

THEN, as if this wasn’t all grueling enough, I drank enormous Lemon Drops provided by the all-too-talented, Armand the bartender. I chatted it up with my friends and the local glitterati and received many compliments on my gorgeous but horrifically painful Manolo Blahnik spectator pumps (how very Carrie Bradshaw of me).

In any case, after completing my duties, I went home way too late, pooped and a bit blotto on cocktails and dreamt of Bliss sugar scrub massages.

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The Famous Author World Tour

Don’t fret. If you missed missed me on tour, our paths may still cross one day. With just a little bit of dry cleaning and a few new pairs of shoes, I may be at it all again.

Perhaps on The Famous Author Summer Tour or The Famous Author European Tour or The Famous Author Mani-Pedi Tour (which begins at Bliss Spa San Francisco next Wednesday, April 19th. Call to reserve a spot: 415-817-4103…it’s almost full, so call soon).

If you never want to miss out on another oppotunity again, join my FAMOUS LIST and maybe you will be invited to be a VIP at one of these exclusive (and sometimes rained out) events. You don’t have to be famous to be Famous.

xx
Jennifer

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IN PEOPLE MAGAZINE!

As if appearing in Harper’s Bazaar alongside Madonna is not enough to give this girl a glorious case of hives, this week, yes, oh m’gawd, I’m in People Magazine.

Of course they used the photo that my mother hates, “you’re so much prettier in real life, sweetheart,” and they angled the book in such a way that it points directly to my boob…but who cares. People Magazine. I mean, what is up from here?

So as you might expect, I’m taking some time off to celebrate – maybe throwing myself a party and watching the entire 2004 season of Nip/Tuck all at once. This takes a lot out of a girl. “Solow steals the show with this energetic debut!”…”Solow’s achievement lies in her subtle portrayal of Jillian’s motivation for stealing…” C’MON! I love this. This is splendid!

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