I just sent off my first real pitch/query (the one for Query Shark is looking for feedback on the composition of my query; it’s not a query for agent representation). It’s pretty thrilling and a little scary at the same time.
The most important thing you can do when it comes to querying/pitching is read the agent/agency’s instructions. The agency I just queried, for instance, wants a one-sentence pitch, in addition to the synopsis (what I wrote for Query Shark). That’s even harder to write than the synopsis; I had distill a 182 page book (114,500 words) into a single sentence.
Here is what I came up with, based on some information at Nathan Bransford’s blog:
A sixteen-year-old human girl suddenly finds herself on the front lines of an undeclared war–perpetrated by a new, hybrid vampire–and she must fight for her own survival, as well as that of her vampire family.
Another thing writers need to do is keep a list of everyone they send queries to, because it seems to take people anywhere from 3-8 weeks to get back to you, which makes it really easy to forget who all has received a query. You don’t want to send two queries to the same person/agency.