Today, Suggested Reading publishes into the world with Katherine Tegen, and… well, it’s interesting writing this blog post now about Dave’s query letter.
Because today, the day I’m writing this post, is September 17th, 2019. Pub date. The day he queried this to me?
April 28th, 2015.
It took me a while to find it again in my inbox. Dave was one of the very first authors I signed, and shortly after, he was offered a deal for his debut, The Temptation of Adam, which published with Sky Pony Press in 2017. When that offer came in, Suggested Reading had to wait a minute, while he worked on what would become his debut.
Publishing has a strange timeline, that’s for sure. And when it was time to send Suggested Reading around, I was beyond thrilled that it found a home with Katherine Tegen Books, and legendary editor Claudia Gabel.
Now… let’s check out this old query, and see what we can learn from Dave. And as always, if this was helpful, please consider picking up Dave’s book as a thank you to him for sharing.
When sixteen year-old, Clara Evans' school, Lupton Academy, implements a strict policy that bans over one hundred books, including Clara's favorite, Sans Home by Lukas Tiberio, she starts a secret library in her locker.
While she risks suspension to give classmates access to the life-changing literature, kids who rarely read become some of her most passionate patrons. But when one student misinterprets the message of a banned book, it affects the whole school. As Clara struggles to make sense of her involvement, she must choose between hiding, or attempting to put back together the broken pieces of herself.
Suggested Reading is a 57,000 word YA contemporary love letter to literature, a tale of the unfathomable impact of books, and the strength of agape friendship. The Recipe? One cup books change the world—a la Book Thief. Some bright hints of Smith’s Winger, and a generous pinch of A.S. King's literary voice.
I am a member of the SCBWI, and the co-founder of a reddit-style creator community called Musetic. I offer my novel, in full or in part, for your consideration. This is a multiple submission. I appreciate your time in evaluating its possibilities.
P.S. Geeks unite.
That is all,
Let’s break down this query, cause even now, four years later, I love it. And it’s also so fascinating to look back on it, because the book is much longer than 57,000 words now, and a lot of the story changed. Not just the books, but also Dave’s. Ah, publishing.
Hook: Dave’s blip here with his comp titles and friendship angle was PERFECT.
Book: He sums up his novel nice and quick, in two paragraphs. He could have dug in more if he had wanted, but this is really the perfect length for his story, keeping out just enough of the mystery.
Cook: And look at that! He dishes a bit about himself, talks about the organizations he’s with, keeps it short.
Honestly, this was such a perfect query for me, especially with the splash of personalization (geeks unite!) because yes, that’s me.
If you found reading Dave’s original query helpful, be sure to pick up his novel. It’s out now, with Katherine Tegen.