Mastering the Art of the Query

Well, things have died down a bit for me and while I’ve got some amazing changes on the horizon, I’ve actually found some time to work on my book again! (and there was much rejoicing!) The first step (for me) to getting my book published is to find myself a literary agent. From what I’ve read and heard, it can be pretty tough to find a literary agent if you’ve a.) never been published before, b.) never worked with an agent before or c.) never known someone who has worked with said agent before. In my case, I’ve never been published and never worked with an agent. I may know someone who knows a good agent, so I’m keeping my ears open for that but mostly what I’ve got to work with is that I’ve got a unique book with nothing like it on the market… I’ve got something that I believe answers a lot of questions when there’s nothing else out there to rival it… So what do I have to do? Master the art of the Query Letter. Or Proposal depending on who you talk to since this is non-fiction…

For those of you who don’t know – a query letter or proposal is a one-page introduction to the book, the author and why the agent should represent them. There’s a general format (one sentence hook, one paragraph summary, one paragraph bio, one paragraph of thanks) and some general requirements for what to enclose (outline, table of contents, self-addressed and stamped envelope) but beyond that, you’ve got to do what you can to stand out from the crowd…

So, after two months (no joke) of revisions on this bad boy, I give you the finalized draft of my first query letter/proposal:

Dear [Recipient]:

After 22 years of growing up in the church surrounded by a loving Christian family and thinking I had a handle on my faith and God, my belief system was sent for a spin shortly after I graduated college, leaving my beliefs much different than what I thought I knew – and I had no idea where to turn.

One thing was certain: I was still a Christian and still believed that the Bible was the Word of God. However, the specifics of what I believed were drastically different in certain areas than what I had known in churches growing up. How could I possibly expect the same old church settings to nurture this new me? After searching (and failing) to find any type of guidebook or reference to point me in the right direction, I set out on a journey to find a new church home that fit what I believed, would encourage me and challenge me – feed me, if you will – and decided to document the process as I knew it would be of help to others in a similar situation.

ANATOMY OF A CHURCH HUNT details the process I went through in finding a new church home – figuring out what type of church was best for me, what I wanted out of a church and how to find the church that would be the best for my faith and future in a way that will guide future church-hunters through their own path to a new church home. Though the full manuscript is still in the works, I have had near constant requests from those in similar situations who are searching for a guide to finding their own church and navigating these uncharted waters – and I look forward to coming to their aid.

In addition to being a Pastor’s daughter, seeing churches of many types growing up and being immersed in Christian ministry and theology, I have been an avid writer/blogger for years at MusingsOfTheResolute.com concerning topics such as Christian Living, Marketing Topics and Inspiration. In fact, samples of my writing and process for this new book can be found on my blog in the Christian LivingChurch Hunting category.

I would be happy to send you sample chapters for review if you would like to take a closer look at what ANATOMY OF A CHURCH HUNT has to offer. I have included an outline and table of contents along with a SASE for your convenience, though you may also respond via email. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Hilary C. Gallagher

I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions and comments! I intend to start sending these out within the next few weeks since my free time is slowly returning to me only to be filled with working on my book and sending our queries. : ) Thanks to everyone for their support, encouragement and revision-eyes!

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