Query and Book Proposal...Getting and Evaluating Feedback

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
User avatar
Mira
Posts: 1354
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 9:59 am
Contact:

Re: Query and Book Proposal...Getting and Evaluating Feedback

Post by Mira » December 22nd, 2009, 10:30 am

Skyhawk - I don't know if you're checking in, but I visited your site. I like your synopsis. Compelling.

I think that's as far as I'm going to go, though. I realized that I'm not up for beta-reading right now - sorry. But there is lots of support out there in terms of critique - if you're interested, I know you'll find some good support and feedback.

Good luck!

Skyhawk
Posts: 27
Joined: December 14th, 2009, 7:33 pm
Contact:

Re: Query and Book Proposal...Getting and Evaluating Feedback

Post by Skyhawk » December 28th, 2009, 7:01 am

Hey Ryan and Mira...

Somehow, I stopped being noticed on the new replies. I came back to check out those "perfect" queries Nathan posted as I'm getting ready to send another to an agent who is specifically looking for a memoir. Those queries were so short! Not even a page. That's going to be some challenge for me! Ryan...Perhaps I'll use that one paragraph you pointed out. Thanks for doing that and thanks for visiting the blog.

You were asking about my proposal which I don't recall responding to. My bio is also in the 3rd person. I think for memoir, querying in the 1st person would be appropriate, totally. However, the synopsis, I think, should be left in the 3rd person. It's easier to address accomplishments, or tell the world how great we are without having to say "I did this...I am that". Too self serving.

So I'm dying to know. What is the basis for YOUR memoir Ryan? I'd be happy to forward you my entire proposal, Perhaps you'll find something in it that could be useful to you. And visa versa...

I'm seeing now I have to check the Notify ME box!

Skyhawk
Posts: 27
Joined: December 14th, 2009, 7:33 pm
Contact:

Re: Query and Book Proposal...Getting and Evaluating Feedback

Post by Skyhawk » April 7th, 2010, 7:30 pm

Mira...Ryan,

You guys around. Hey...I've been missing the boat. I have been in correspondence with a screenwriter who has read all of my material and we have discussed in great detail, the rest of my story and I have been blind to the appropriate angle. Okay, I admit, a private detective on the wrong angle? I've been out of the game too long but soon to return as "LA Undercover." I will be operating legally soon here in Los Angeles and I've been doing brain exercises in preparation.

The screenwriter kept telling me I was pushing the wrong part of the story but I was too stubborn and bullheaded to listen. I wanted to save the world with the recovery portion but if I can't sell the book, I'm not saving anyone.

So...here it is. The new, unedited, first draft of my query. Sydney, my editor says if they don't respond to this, something is terribly wrong. I'd love to hear "your" thoughts guys, please, and anyone else who would care to share. No worries. I'm not with those hoods anymore so fire away...no pun intended!

The smoke has finally cleared and it’s safe to come out now. Ten years passed before the fire was finally extinguished leaving nothing in it’s path but mass destruction. “Hell”, the most fitting description Scott Mathews could think of as he reflects on how many times he miraculously cheated death, while roaming aimlessly from city to city in search of himself after being stripped of everything but the shirt on his back. The self made millionaire P.I. was eating from dumpsters trying to figure out how such a thing could have possibly happened.

It started in 1996 when the successful private investigator, was double-crossed by his employee, Max Caulfield, a disgruntled member of the Witness Protection Program, whose testimony crippled the Chicago Mafia. His gorgeous, soon to be ex-wife Shari, was sleeping with her divorce lawyer and collectively, the trio set him up igniting the blazing fire with a two year prison sentence in maximum security. Max got his clients. Shari gets to keep the 400K, and her lawyer gets to keep Shari.

Just one, of a 13 chapter memoir he began to write after his best friend Bobby was shot to death by John Gotti’s cousin. The homicide detectives requested Scott break the horrific news to his wife Beverly, the daughter of the notorious Mob Boss, Paul Vario, who was on his way to prison, compliments of Henry Hill, a Goodfella gone bad.

Mathews, no stranger to mob life, worked for Bruno, Pauly’s most trusted hit man, who one day decided he was disloyal, the penalty for which, was a bullet to the head and if it had not been for Tommy, his step-father, and a soldier in the Columbo Crime Family, they would chopping him to pieces like they did the other 200 murder victims who’s body parts were scattered all over Canarsie, a small Brooklyn neighborhood infested with members of the Mafia particularly the gangsters known as the “Goodfellas”

BlancheKing
Posts: 157
Joined: December 12th, 2009, 7:38 am
Contact:

Re: Query and Book Proposal...Getting and Evaluating Feedback

Post by BlancheKing » April 7th, 2010, 10:01 pm

hmm.... old thread's come back to life. Let me take a stab.

Overall impression: Better. I'm actually curious about this.
Improve: too many people. I got confused, especially by the alternating names referring to the same person, and the different connections

As I'm not familiar with the memoir process, I leave it at "it's slightly off-putting to read a series of teasers that don't seem to have an end". The make the story sound... fictitious.
One manuscript, One dream, One stack of stamps that needs to be bought...
Writing Process: http://blancheking.blogspot.com/

Skyhawk
Posts: 27
Joined: December 14th, 2009, 7:33 pm
Contact:

Re: Query and Book Proposal...Getting and Evaluating Feedback

Post by Skyhawk » April 8th, 2010, 12:29 pm

Thank you Blanche. I do intentionally leave much for curiosity. If I were to explain more, it would take it out of being "tight", I believe. This is good feedback...Thanks.

BlancheKing
Posts: 157
Joined: December 12th, 2009, 7:38 am
Contact:

Re: Query and Book Proposal...Getting and Evaluating Feedback

Post by BlancheKing » April 8th, 2010, 2:33 pm

Maybe I should have explained myself better. What I was trying to say was that the letter could be even tighter. At certain places, it turned into a namedropping contest.

For example:

"It started in 1996 when the successful private investigator, was double-crossed by his employee, Max Caulfield, a disgruntled member of the Witness Protection Program, whose testimony crippled the Chicago Mafia. His gorgeous, soon to be ex-wife Shari, was sleeping with her divorce lawyer and collectively, the trio set him up igniting the blazing fire with a two year prison sentence in maximum security. Max got his clients. Shari gets to keep the 400K, and her lawyer gets to keep Shari. this paragraph is great the way it is

Just one, of a 13 chapter memoir he began to write after his best friend Bobby was shot to death by John Gotti’s cousin. The homicide detectives requested Scott break the horrific news to his wife Beverly, this is where it starts getting confusing. it sounds like Beverly is Scott's wifethe daughter of the notorious Mob Boss, Paul Vario, who was on his way to prison, compliments of Henry Hill, a Goodfella gone bad. ehhh... is this part necessary?

Mathews, no stranger to mob life, worked for Bruno, Pauly’s most trusted hit man, who one day decided he was disloyal, the penalty for which, was a bullet to the head and if it had not been for Tommy, his step-father, and a soldier in the Columbo Crime Family, they would chopping him to pieces like they did the other 200 murder victims who’s body parts were scattered all over Canarsie, a small Brooklyn neighborhood infested with members of the Mafia particularly the gangsters known as the “Goodfellasname, description, more names, more description, name of place, more description. This one could use some cleaning up.
One manuscript, One dream, One stack of stamps that needs to be bought...
Writing Process: http://blancheking.blogspot.com/

Skyhawk
Posts: 27
Joined: December 14th, 2009, 7:33 pm
Contact:

Re: Query and Book Proposal...Getting and Evaluating Feedback

Post by Skyhawk » April 14th, 2010, 1:01 pm

Okay Blanche. Points well taken hence the below referenced...

The smoke has finally cleared and it’s safe to come out now. Ten years passed before the fire was extinguished leaving nothing in its path but mass destruction. “Hell.” The most fitting description Scott Mathews could think of as he reflected on how many times he miraculously cheated death, while roaming without direction from city to city in search of himself after being stripped of everything except the shirt on his back. The self-made millionaire Private Investigator was eating from dumpsters trying to understand how his life descended from Paradise into Hell.

A series of unthinkable events began in 1996 and continued to snowball after the successful P.I. was double-crossed by his partner, Max Caulfield, a disgruntled member of the Witness Protection Program, whose testimony crippled the Chicago Mafia. Mathews’ stunning soon to be ex-wife, Shari, was sleeping with her divorce lawyer and collectively, the devious trio set him up by igniting a legal fire which resulted in a-two year maximum security prison sentence. Max got his clients. Shari got to keep the money and the lawyer got to keep Shari.

This is one of a 13-chapter memoir Mathews began to write after his best friend Bobby was shot to death by John Gotti’s cousin. The homicide detectives requested Mathews break the horrific news to Bobby’s wife Beverly, the daughter of the notorious Mob Boss, Paul Vario, who was on his way to prison, compliments of Henry Hill, a “Goodfella” gone bad.

Mathews, no stranger to mob life, worked for Bruno, Pauly’s most trusted hit man one day decided he was disloyal, the penalty for which, was a bullet to the head. Had Tommy not been home that day, his step-father, and a soldier in the Columbo Crime Family, they would be chopping him to pieces like they did the other 200 murder victims. Body parts were scattered all over Canarsie, a small Brooklyn neighborhood infested with members of the Mafia particularly the gangsters known as the “Goodfellas.”

Blanche, I have another one from my blog that is completely different but I'd love your feedback here first. If this flies, I'll owe you big time.

Skyhawk
Posts: 27
Joined: December 14th, 2009, 7:33 pm
Contact:

Re: Query and Book Proposal...Getting and Evaluating Feedback

Post by Skyhawk » April 14th, 2010, 9:12 pm

I didn't see your edits before I posted the revised query.

The first paragraph is okay...cool.

The second you are questioning the mention of Henry Hill? It's not necessary if it's clear exactly who these people were. "Were' in that they are all dead...except Henry. I wanted to make it clear that I am referring to these guys as Goodfellas NOT in a generic sense but in literal terms. Is it clear enough? If so, we can lose Henry. Thanks for pointing that out.

As for the rest, confusion has been a real problem for me in trying to condense and write tightly. Someone said I was too close to the material and they were right.

priggy
Posts: 2
Joined: April 9th, 2010, 10:22 am
Contact:

Re: Query and Book Proposal...Getting and Evaluating Feedback

Post by priggy » May 3rd, 2010, 11:54 am

Hi SkyHawk,

Your book sounds intriguing, i can see you've led a hard life. from the outside it sounds a thrilling life to have led but my problem with the query you posted is that its possibly too long and not tight enough and I'm afraid that your memoir will be the same.

Yes, having a platform will be helpful. I think it could sell well, if you have a good marketing strategy and blurb. My main problem is the writing. I know your finding it hard to put everything you've done in your life in a few hundred words but in the query posted above, your wasting words.
You ask a lot of questions and imo most of those questions need not be asked, instead you could spend the time and the words making the plot more exciting.

This is all just my opinion of course.

Skyhawk
Posts: 27
Joined: December 14th, 2009, 7:33 pm
Contact:

Re: Query and Book Proposal...Getting and Evaluating Feedback

Post by Skyhawk » May 3rd, 2010, 12:10 pm

Thank you so much Priggy for taking the time to point this out. There are several very interesting aspects of the story I could use in a query. The serial killer, the CIA, drug smuggling, you name it. I chose this and tightened it up. it's a mere fraction of the bigger picture. As for the memoir, I move fast in the writing and take no time describing weather or clothing so hopefully it won't be a problem there. But for here, I did this and would love to know what you think now, please. -----------------------------------------------

The smoke has finally cleared and it’s safe to come out now. Ten years passed before the fire was extinguished leaving nothing in its path but mass destruction. “Hell.” The most fitting description Scott Mathews could think of as he reflected on how many times he cheated death while roaming from city to city in search of an identity. Stripped of everything but the shirt on his back, the millionaire Private Eye was released barefoot from a third world country jail and headed straight to the U.S. Border.

It was all downhill after the well-known sleuth was double-crossed by his partner, Max Caulfield, a member of the Witness Protection Program whose testimony crippled the Chicago Mafia. Mathews’ stunning estranged wife, Shari, was sleeping with her divorce lawyer and collectively, the trio set him up for a two-year maximum security prison sentence, and the fight for his life continued. Max got his clients. Shari got his money. The lawyer got Shari.

This is just a sampling of a 13-chapter memoir Mathews began to write after his best friend, Bobby, was shot to death by a John Gotti gunman. Homicide detectives telephoned Mathews at 4am asking that he break the news to Bobby’s wife, Beverly, the daughter of the notorious Mob Boss, Paul Vario, who was on the lam, compliments of Henry Hill, a “Goodfella” gone bad.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests