The White Cliffs of Ambition with Jennie Goloboy Part 1

A Good Day In The Inbox

Every time I open my Red Sofa inbox, I have the same thought in my head: “Please let one of these queries be a good one!” What makes me think that I may have found a good one?

1. Characters who stick in my memory. A lot of the heroes in my inbox don’t deserve the chance to be a protagonist: perfectly average girls who are revealed to be the Chosen One, boring young men who find themselves caught up in adventures they never planned. One of my recent clients, Dan Koboldt, caught my eye because his hero was an ambitious Vegas magician.

(And PS: never use words like “boring,” “average,” and “dull” in your query, because your reader will associate your query with the words “boring,” “average,” and “dull.”)

2. Being on trend with what people looking for in sci-fi and fantasy. Editors are looking for more science fiction, especially military fiction and space opera. It’s very hard to sell a book where the characters are all white men (or all white men except the love interest). More and more editors are looking for adult fiction rather than YA.

3. Having a great platform. One of my authors, Foz Meadows, was recently nominated for a Hugo for her fan writing. When her book is published, she’ll have plenty of ways to let people know that it’s coming out.

4. Professionalism. Even if it’s a first novel, an author can act like this is his job– not by saying he’s always wanted to write (who hasn’t?), but by being clear, direct, and engaging in his query letter.

Good luck, and keep querying!