I have some tips, that will hopefully give you some ideas on what to look for in your own queries!
Going through all of these queries at once let me see a trend in errors. So, if you’re looking to polish your query up, here are some of the things I noticed:
We need the age of your MC
If you’re writing YA, or MG, we need the age of your MC in the query. There’s no reason to leave it out. Add it in, preferably in the first paragraph.
Your query should be about your book
Your query should be more about your book, than about you. While some agents like to see a short paragraph about the writer, that paragraph should not be longer than the rest of the query.
Show, don’t tell
Don’t give a one sentence overview of your book and expect that to cut it. Show us what your book is about in your query. Try to give at least three paragraphs that are a general overview of your plot.
Too much backstory
Save backstory for your manuscript. Your query doesn’t need 2 full paragraphs of backstory.
Too many character names
Limit yourself to mentioning two character names in your query. If you list more characters than that, the query can become confusing.
A query is not a list of events
Make sure that your query tells me a few things: Who your character is, what they’re up against, and what the stakes are. A bulleted list of events won’t cut it for an agent.
Limit your comps
If you’re going to use comps (which is optional) limit yourself to two or three.
A common tip if you’re stuck with your query, is to look at the jacket copy from other novels. I also have some other query tips here.
Have questions about your query, or any of the tips I mentioned in my post? Feel free to ask them below!