Dear Ms. Werksman,
I am a new author seeking publication of my erotic romance novel, THE RESCUE, a futuristic story of 72,000 words. The heroine, Jacinth (Jack) Rutland, is a tough, independent space trader in search of her kidnapped sister, Ranata. To aid her on her quest, she buys Carkdacund (Cat) Tshevnoe, a slave who is one of the last of a race of feline humanoids with some rather remarkable sexual traits. Their quest takes them to a planet where all women are enslaved, and where Cat must pose as Jack's master. Along the way, they encounter strange aliens, harrowing adventures, joy and laughter, a truly unique romance, and sex beyond your wildest dreams.
This is one of fifteen novels that I have completed to date, and I am currently working on a prequel to this story.
Enclosed are a synopsis, the first four chapters and a SASE. I look forward to hearing from you.
That was my query letter for The Rescue, which later became The Cat Star Chronicles: Slave. Don't know if it's any good or not, but Deb did say there was something about it that made her want to keep reading. Interestingly enough, there was a mistake in the version I sent to her, and though I don't recommend putting one in on purpose, I guess it just goes to show you that even a small error won't completely destroy your chances.
The funny thing is, I didn't put a whole lot of effort into writing that letter. I'd sweated bullets over so many of them that I'd sent to agents and other publishers, only to be rejected, that when I saw in RWR that Sourcebooks was a newly approved publisher of romances and that they were taking erotics and paranormals, I thought, what the hell, I'll send them The Rescue. It was too short, but Deb liked it enough to accept it when I rewrote and resubmitted it.
I've never pitched a book to anyone in person, and even over the phone my explanations of other books just fall apart. I do better when I can write it down and and then edit it to death before anyone sees it. If I were to pitch something in person, I'd probably have to read it off an index card, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that.
I may have never pitched a book, but I have written some blurbs, and the writing style is very different from writing a book. You have to use superlatives, and if you're as shy about self-promotion as I am, that won't come easily for you. Though I've never tried it, it might be best to think of it as a book someone else wrote and you're the agent trying to sell it.
It takes a lot of courage to submit a book and for those of you entering this contest, it will take even more courage because it's out here on the Internet where anyone can see it and comment on it. Even so, you have very little to lose and everything to gain by entering, and I wish each of you the best of luck. Something tells me the competition will be fierce!