Hmm, this is becoming the week TVWriter™ rediscovered Writers Digest. Here’s another helpful Writers Digest post. Looks like a place y’all need to visit more, yeah?
by Robert Lee Brewer
Writing a novel is hard to do. It takes skill, hard work, and perseverance. Once you’ve finished, it’s natural to start thinking about the next step—publication!
In this post, I’m going to share how to get your science fiction novel published. We’ll look at example query letters and synopses that were effective specifically for science fiction novelists. I’ll also share lists of literary agents and book publishers that are open to writer submissions.
The first step is finishing your manuscript. Notice that I didn’t say the first step is writing your manuscript. That’s because editors and agents expect writers to submit edited and revised manuscripts. Once your manuscript is finished, it’s time to start working on your query letter.
How to Write a Science Fiction Query Letter
All query letters, regardless of genre, share one goal: To get the editor or agent to want to know more about your project. This is not accomplished by being intentionally vague and abstract. Rather, you’ll want your query to be specific and concrete.
Here are the essential elements of writing an effective query letter:
- Sentence that lays out what you’re pitching. This sentence should include the full title of your novel, genre (or sub-genre), and word count. A completely made-up example would be: The Boy Who Rides Horses is a 120,000-word science fiction novel.
- Hook. The hook is a sentence or two that gets the agent or editor to want to know more about the story you’re telling. Both the hook and sentence that lays out what you’re pitching are typically included in the first paragraph, though the order can be switched.
- Supporting story. If you’ve piqued interest after the first paragraph, the second (and possibly third) paragraph’s job is to reveal more about your story that will heighten that interest—hopefully resulting in a request for sample chapters or a full manuscript.
- About you. Your final paragraph should be a line or three about you and your relevant writing accomplishments in relation to your novel. Don’t inflate if you don’t have much to tell. A simple, “This is my debut novel,” will suffice….