Query Critique 6/20/17

Offer up your page (or query) for Nathan's critique on the blog.
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Nathan Bransford
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Query Critique 6/20/17

Post by Nathan Bransford » June 19th, 2017, 10:09 am

Want to see how your editing approach compares to mine?

Below is the query up for critique on the blog tomorrow, June 20th. Feel free to chime in with comments, create your own redline (please note the "font colour" button above the posting box, which looks like a drop of ink), and otherwise offer feedback. When offering your feedback, please please remember to be polite and constructive. In order to leave a comment you will need to register an account in the Forums, which should be self-explanatory.

I'll be back with my own post on the blog and we'll literally be able to compare notes. Thanks to Michael Carroll, whose query is below:

Dear [Agent Name],

After discovering your passion for education, through your work as a teacher, literary agent, and [Company], I think you would be the perfect fit to represent my manuscript. DOG GONE DOG is a humorous middle grade detective adventure about a 12-year-old inventor.
Dewey “Mac” McClain is a desk-drumming, creative goofball. Through his love of science, and how cheap his mom is, he has learned to make inventions out of common items. After a former friend’s dog goes missing, Dewey decides to find the dog to repair the friendship. When partnered with loudmouth and overconfident Ched and Betty Bacon and feel like they have it solved until Betty’s dad is framed for the job. Now the three need to hurry and find the real thief, free Betty’s dad, and complete their school projects.
The manuscript contains two parts: a narrative section (30,000 words) and THE HAM DETECTIVE MANUAL (5,500 words). The Detective Manual contains simple step-by-step directions to build STEM gadgets from common or inexpensive items. No project is too hard or too expensive, so all children can enjoy, experiment, and learn.
In late 2015, 2,000 copies were printed through a partner publishing contract with Mascot Books. These were used to fulfill a Kickstarter campaign that was over 300% funded. The book was launched at World Maker Faire, where it was honored with an Editor’s Choice Award and an Educator’s Choice Award. Only a few hundred copies remain unsold. I have retained the rights to all content, characters, and artwork.
As a third grade teacher, I see many students who are currently disenchanted with reading because of a lack of initially appealing books. I also see many students who don’t realize how interesting STEM can be. I would love to team with you to help put DOG GONE DOG, A DEWEY MAC MAKER MYSTERY into children’s hands everywhere.

Michael Carroll

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Re: Query Critique 6/20/17

Post by J. T. SHEA » June 20th, 2017, 4:51 am

STEM being Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, which I must admit I had to Google. This sounds interesting, innovative, and literally constructive.

“When partnered with loudmouth and overconfident Ched and Betty Bacon and feel like they have it solved until Betty’s dad is framed for the job.”
I assume there are words missing from that sentence?

I would also capitalize Middle-Grade Detective Adventure and separate the query more clearly into block paragraphs. But overall this sounds promising.

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