Sunday, June 26, 2011

5 Dos and 5 Don'ts when querying Imajin Books

Hopefully, if you're a writer thinking of querying us, you've read Jeff Rivera's query posts here. If not, I recommend you read them before submitting a query letter to us. It'll save us both time and energy.

And here are a few more Dos and Don'ts you should apply.

DOs:

1. Do query us in a personal, friendly tone. We aren't stuffy, starched-shirt executives working from a corner office on the 12th floor with a river view. We're people who love a good story.
2. Do address me, the acquisition editor, by name. CHERYL. Not Ma'am or Miss or Publisher. And yes, your email may get deleted if you can't be bothered to spell my name correctly. Sorry, but if you can't spell CHERYL, then there are probably a ton of typos in your manuscript.
3. Do HOOK me with your first sentence and paragraph of your query letter. Follow this advice for your novel too. I look for a strong first sentence, paragraph, page and chapter. If you don't have this, edit. Your query too.
4. Do email me your query. Don't send it by mail. Ever. Especially now. Canada Post is on strike.
5. Do feel free to blog about Imajin Books (in glowing terms, of course) and promote any of our fabulous authors. Feel free to contact them for interviews and guest blogs. Ask them to donate a free ebook to a contest/draw on your site/blog.

DON'Ts:
1. Don't query us with NON-fiction. Unless you see our tagline under our company name change, we only publish FICTION. For those of you who are still confused over the difference, NON-fiction means the story is based on truth, on someone's life, is factual. This includes memoirs, historical accounts etc. FICTION is a made up story, a fantasy not based on truth, though it may be inspired by a true story.
2. Don't ever call us in place of an emailed query. We do not want to be pitched to by phone. We have a business to run.
3. Don't leave us voice messages asking us to call you so you can pitch a book to us.
4. Don't tell us your manuscript has been professionally edited because when we find typos--and we always do--we're going to wonder who you hired and why you bothered. Or we'll think your mother's sister's best friend who cleans the coffee room at a newspaper edited it for you for free.
5. Don't send us a five page query. Keep it short and sweet. If we want to know more, we'll ask. If we ask, that's a good sign we're interested. If we're interested, we may just publish your book. If we publish your book, you'll have a publisher and your book will be read by readers.

~ Cheryl Tardif

4 comments:

  1. Re those who get confused between fiction and non-fiction: I remember I was once in a bookstore, and I overheard one of the employees asking her colleague, "Can you remind me again what's the difference between fiction and non-fiction?" I probably wouldn't have noticed that under normal circumstances, but hearing that from someone who works in a bookstore... Scary.

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  2. Ha ha. Cehryl, you have waaay to many rules.

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  3. HAHA, Eireen. Veerrrry funny. ;-)

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  4. Anna, I once had a writer tell me her book was "fictional", then said it was a memoir. Um...yeah...right...

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