What follows is the query I have been sending to agents for my novel Tragedy in Sunset. If you have thoughts on how to make it better, please let me know! If you want to start following Tragedy in Sunset’s progress, sign up here for updates.
Here is the query:
“A young girl is raped in a small Kansas town. Now her father must overcome his struggling faith to join forces with a rogue cop and the perpetrator’s father to prevent the rape from destroying Sunset.”
Dear Agent (I used actual names in the official queries),
I am Dan Smith, and my book, Tragedy in Sunset, is the story of Marcy Reynolds and her father, Tom. Marcy is a 13-year-old eighth grader who is violently raped on Christmas Eve. It is the story of her father, Tom, who throws away a decade of sobriety the night of Marcy’s rape. Finally, and most importantly, it is a story of faith from multiple experiences and viewpoints.
Tragedy in Sunset inspires courage and change through hardship. It will entertain, stimulate, and deepen the faith of Christians who know what it is like to struggle with their faith and come out on the other end a little weary, but trusting God a little bit more. It is also obviously for those who have suffered through sexual assault or know someone who has been through an attack. Tragedy in Sunset runs 90,000 words.
My writing has appeared in over a dozen periodicals, including EFCA Today, Christian Courier, and The Lookout. All are either essays or articles. While not fiction credits, I have built relationships with several editors that I can use in the future for reviews and/or excerpts. My Facebook page has over 1,350 likes and climbing (@navychristian) and my Twitter account (@navychristian) has over 5500 followers. I also have a Master of Arts in Religion from Liberty University’s School of Divinity.
The full proposal contains a larger explanation of my marketing plan. However, I want you to know that my Facebook page, Twitter, and blog will all be used to focus attention on Tragedy in Sunset. As mentioned above, I will also leverage relationships with periodical editors for reviews and excerpts. Furthermore, I guarantee that I will use at least half of any advance to increase influence and market Tragedy in Sunset. Finally, due to my career in the Navy, I know pastors in several major cities, giving me a ready list of contacts for speaking engagements.
Bottom line is: Give me a chance and you’ll get one of the hardest working authors in your stable. May I send you a package that includes the first three chapters, a synopsis, and a marketing plan? Simply reply to my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (858-598-5244)and I’ll have it on the way!
This is a simultaneous submission. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future!
S. Daniel Smith