Query Jabberwocky

Good news, boys and girls! Jabberwocky is temporarily open to recieving queries. So if you’re an author in search of an agent, brush up your query letter and hope for the best!

What is a query letter?
Simply, a query letter introduces you and your book to a prospective agent.

Don’t just slap something like “Hey! I wrote this great book and I think you should be my agent!” on a piece of paper (or email) and send it off. Queries have a pretty standard format that agents like to see. It lets them know they’re dealing with a serious author. And that’s what you are, right?

1) The opening line.
This is where you hook or lose them, so make it good. Write 1-3 sentences (at MOST) to grab the agent’s attention. Don’t get cutesy and don’t ramble. If you’ve met (or seen) the agent at a convention or workshop, tell them that. “I was excited to see you speak at the Oregon writer’s workshop for women, and and even more thrilled to share my 300 page book ‘How to Herd Cats and win friends’ with you.”
Or, if you’ve read about them online, say that. “I read your blog @(addy here) and am excited to share my 400 page novel ‘It Was a Dark and Stormy Night’ with you.”
If you’re approaching them cold (haven’t seen, met, or read them), keep it about your book. But remember, this is NOT where you give your synopsis. That follows. This is just the introduction where you try to grab their interest. For example:
Imagine being whisked away by a twister over the rainbow to a strange, colorful land full of wonders, and having to find the one person that can help you get home again.
What if you were trapped in a spaceship with a horrible alien that has killed all of your crew mates and is now after you? How will you survive?

2) Synopsis.
Now that you’ve got their attention, give them a brief description of your book. Emphasis on brief. This whole letter fits on one page, remember.
Dorothy Gale, a sweet young girl from Kansas, finds herself swept away by a twister to the magical land of Oz. There, she makes friends like Glinda, the beautiful Witch of the North, who gives Dorothy a pair of ruby slippers. There’s also an animated scarecrow, rusty Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion who help her find her way to meet the Wizard of Oz. He’s great and powerful, they say, and can help her get home again. She also battles the Wicked Witch of the West, who will stop at nothing to thwart Dorothy and reclaim the ruby slippers. Dorothy meets the Wizard, but discovers that he can’t send her home, after all. The power to do that, she finds, is within herself.
You get the idea. Keep it brief, describe the story, and don’t get cute.
And do include the ending. Don’t leave ’em hanging. It won’t leave them wanting more. It’ll probably piss ’em off. And you don’t want to lose them if they’ve come this far in your query, do you?
Also, add the essentials. Title, page length, and genre. *Book title* is a 325 page is a YA novel. I suggest not saying that it’s a fiction novel. That’s repetitive. If it’s a novel, of course it’s fiction.

3) Your introduction.
Tell the agent about yourself. Again, keep it brief. They want a bio, not your life history. If you won a contest or award that’s related to your project, include it. If you won the 4H blue ribbon for your sweet apple pie, they don’t want to hear about it. Unless your book is about how to bake a sweet apple pie, of course.

4) Wrap it up.
Express your appreciation for the agent’s time and let them know you’re looking forward to hearing from them. And that’s probably how you should word it. Don’t gush, and don’t beg. Be professional.

Do not include phrases like “If you liked Harry Potter, you’ll LOVE my book!” They’re literary agents. They’ll decide for themselves if they love it.
Do not tell them how many of your friends and family read the book and love it. Not to be rude, but they don’t care.
Do not add a bunch of cutesy pictures.
Do not use a hard-to-read font. Courrier New, or Times Roman 12 are your best bets. Using cutesy pictures, font or, if you’re snail-mailing, cutesy stationery is the quickest way to get your query dumped in the trash. There are industry standards for a reason. These people are professionals, and they want to deal with authors that are professional and serious about getting published. They see literally hundreds of  query letters a day. The cute pink paper isn’t going to make yours stick out from the bunch in a good way. It’s likely the first that will get plucked out and tossed. Let your story and your pitch stand out for you. If it’s a good one, it will get noticed. If not by one agent, then maybe by the next.
DON’T berate yourself. Don’t approach them with lines like “Well, this book isn’t the best, but…” or “I know you’ve worked with better authors than me, but…” or “You probably won’t represent me, but…” If you don’t have confidence in yourself or your project, why the hell should they? Don’t come off like you’re the greatest thing ever, but don’t put yourself down, either. Just come off as a confident professional. That’s what they want to see. That’s who they want to deal with.

Also, don’t query more than one book at a time. If you’ve got a bunch, that’s great. But you only query one book at a time. If you MUST mention that you have other works available, mention that in your bio. “I also have several other titles I look forward to talking with you about.” That’s it. That lets them know that you’re not a one-time splash in the pan, and that’s fine. But don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re querying ONE project, here. Let the others fall in line.

DON’T send your whole book. Look at the website and find out what they want you to send, and send exactly that. Nothing more, and nothing less. If they want to see more, they’ll ask you for it.

The final DON’T is this: Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get picked up on sight by the first agent you query. Stephen King didn’t. Nobody does. Keep at it. The right agent for you is out there. Hopefully, it’s this one. If not, keep plugging away.

There are some great articles about how to write a query HERE, and HERE. And HERE‘s a pretty nifty list of sample letters that were successful in getting their authors represented (by various agencies. Not necessarily Jabberwocky). Don’t copy them word for word, but learn from them.

Be sure to read the BIO pages of Jabberwocky’s agents to make sure that you’re contacting the one that best represents what you’re selling. You don’t want to send a cook book query to the guy that does Sci-fi.

Good luck, kids.


17 thoughts on “Query Jabberwocky

    • Do you have another book that’s close to being ready?

      Often, publishers will see an author through the process of creating the book from the ground up. So if you have a project in the works, consider pitching it. Worst that can happen is they say no. Best that can happen is they say yes.

  1. Since my coma in December, my concentration and memory have been majorly messed up. I doubt I could write a query letter with a gun pointed at my head. 😦

  2. Pingback: Welcome | Lepplady

  3. I remember when Flabby Assy said she struck a deal with Jabberwocky that was allowing her to take her whole team along with her but the never heard of her LOL!! So did Scabby Assy ever marry mister wonderful or what? She kept saying they were getting married after the start of the year well here it is February and I haven’t seen her talking about her dragging him up the isle in church yet so what’s the story there? Daft mingers both of them I hope they don’t breed unless there’s a minger felony colony somewhere that needs to be populated.

    • Hell if I know. but a quick look at her FB page shows that she’s posting public gushy crap about how he’s so perfect and how lucky she is to have such a sweet, loving man, blah, blah. She usually launches into gushy rants like that when her relationship of the month is on the skids. I hear that he’s been laying the groundwork for his exit strategy for some time now, but that he’s still hanging in there hoping for some big payout. I dunno if it’s true or not, but considering who we’re talking about (her) I don’t see starry-eyed bliss being the motivating factor.

      Whatever. I don’t care if the two of them get married and pop out a whole litter of pups, as long as authors are being left alone.

      But they’re not. She’s still got their titles up on foreign markets, and there are whispers floating around that she’s gearing back up to start publishing again. So beware, people.

      Honestly, though. If you haven’t already taken measures to protect your work, I don’t know what else to tell you. I’ve been telling you for years to yank your work off of Ingram and Amazon, to republish it yourself, and to list yourself as the only vendor of record. I’ve been cheering you on to protect your work. And yet, I still see all of the same titles for sale on both foreign and domestic markets. The authors are either too timid or too lazy to take control of their work. That’s not something I can fix. If they’re willing to keep letting her rip them off, that’s their choice.

      Authors. I’ll leave you with this: You’ve been warned about her. Protect yourself and your work. Or don’t. It’s up to you.

    • Always trying to dig up the past, aren’t you tired of getting dirty. I did have the opportunity to get an agent from that fine company but I was raised you don’t leave others behind, but to hear you folks tell it my soul is black and I don’t have a heart.

      As for Troy and I we are doing great. Wedding is going to be a Spring one. If any of you lovely haters would like to be invited be sure to email me your address for a wedding invitation. I’m sure Lepp here has no problem giving it out as she does my IP address.

      I post sweet things to let the man I love know he is wanted and needed something he hasn’t ever had before but again you all seem to know it all so you tell me why I do it. I make sure everything is public except pictures so I have nothing to hide and still it isn’t good enough.

      And btw I never said I was a supermodel or striving to be one I just love bringing characters to life in front of the camera seeing I am taking a break from publishing. I have my health and several surgeries to focus on.

      I’ll be sure to have pics taken of that too so there is no one thinking I’m lying since I refused to post pics of my bashed and bruised up face. But I will be glad to post a pic of my bathtub that is cast iron seeing this is an older house. Not a new one and doesn’t have any plastic to it.

      And the only thing I will be publishing in the future is my work and possibly anthologies. The accounts that are open are my personal ones only that I did for my own self publishing.

      Again I have done all that I can to cancel out old titles I have expressed concern to Amazon but again doesn’t matter if I was telling the truth or not, you will all still assume I’m an evil bitch so I’ve just decided to go with it besides seems Troy likes a little evil bitch with his morning coffee.

      • You are so full of shit I hardly know where to begin.

        You never had an offer from Jabberwocky. The guy that runs it was asked about you and your “offer” and he never heard of you.

        But, okay.

        If you did have an offer, as you insist, let’s air out my two favorite words when it comes to you. PROVE IT. Let’s see that offer. Put up or shut up.

        Agencies don’t deal with groups, as you suggest. IF there was an offer (which there wasn’t) there would never, at any time, have been negotiations for you to bring along any other writers, or include any of your “staff.” It just doesn’t work that way, and it astonishes me that you think people are stupid enough to think it does. A literary agent works with ONE person. An author. That’s it. They don’t give a rat’s ass who you employ or who else you work with. Their only job is to represent YOU.

        And, being the selfish POS you are, there’s no doubt in my mind whatsoever that if you had an offer from them, you’d have taken it. In a heartbeat.

        But, I’m a reasonable woman. If you can show us even an iota of proof that such an offer ever existed, I’ll apologize. So, let’s see it.

        I don’t have to give out your address, you idiot. You made that public yourself on the BBB website. So stop trying to fling that mud at me.

        As for IP addresses, I don’t know how many times you have to hear it, or what language you want it in… those are not privileged information. Your IP does not lead to your door. It leads to your provider. Sure, your IP is exclusive to your device(s), but in no way indicates your exact location. You’re just trying to make me look like a big ole meanie by saying I give yours out. For the record, in case it escapes your keen powers of observation, you give out your own IP every single time you email somebody. Same thing with your addy. So think about that for awhile. Then call somebody a criminal for making public information that you, yourself, make public every day.

        As for you and Troy, I have no doubt whatsoever that he’s never had a woman like you before. Your particular brand of greed, narcissism and sociopathic manipulation is one of a kind. Every guy that’s had the misfortune of crossing your path has suffered for it. And now, each one of them has moved on to find lovers and wives that know how to treat a man with love, compassion and dignity. In short- women who are nothing like you. Troy will, too, when he’s had enough of your shit. And so will the next guy, and the next one after that, for as long as you can snag ’em.

        Here’s a news flash for you, hon. NOBODY CARES if you two get married. It’s all for show, anyway, just like those photos you make public for our benefit. “Look, losers. I got a man!” Well, yay. Woo-hoo. We’ve all got men, too. Most of us for much longer than you’ve ever kept a man in your life, because OUR relationships aren’t built on greed, lies and manipulation. So, whatever. Get married. Have a litter. More power to you.

        Surgeries? How many hysterectomies can one woman have? Or is it something different this time? Hangnail? Ingrown wart? Whatever. Again, NOBODY CARES. You’ve had so many exaggerated/fabricated “injuries” that you come off as a Munchhausen syndrome poster girl. (I almost mis-typed that as poser girl. But that would have been accurate, too, wouldn’t it?)

        We already know that you’re gearing up Sinister Souls. Again. So, please, for once, TRY to stop lying.

        The only accounts you ever HAD were your personal ones. Anything you ever published through each of your “companies” was on your personal account. Your authors have proven it through Createspace. So I don’t know who you think you’re fooling with this “I’ve shut down because I’m such a victim” act. There never were company accounts. Only your private ones. You never were a proper company. Just a greedy bitch who takes vulnerable aspring authors for every dime you can wring out of ’em.

        Your authors have also PROVEN that you never removed their works from publication, You’ve left all of the sales channels open so that those titles can continue to be sold through those dodgy “third-party” sales, and on foreign markets. The only titles that have been pulled were done so by the authors themselves, after proving to Amazon that they’re no longer with you. All of the rest are still up and running. So, please, stuff that claim of “I’ve done everything I can” up your ass sideways. I’m sure there’s plenty of room for it. You’ve done NOTHING right by any of your authors. All you do is continue to exploit them.

        And that leads us back to your first claim, that this is all in the past. No. It isn’t. It’s still going on right now, and you’re fully prepared to keep it going with the next “anthology” and the next. You know, the ones where you snare a couple of real authors into contributing, then fill up the rest of the book with crap stories by your own alts. That way, you get to keep, what, 60% of the sales? More?

        We don’t need to assume that you’re an evil bitch. You prove it yourself every single day you continue to exploit authors that have broken ties with you. Every time you snag (or invent) a new one to cash in on.

        Go ahead and keep weaving that web. You might catch a fly now and then and bleed it dry. But don’t think for a second that you’re getting away with a single thing. We know better, and so does the IRS.

        You don’t have haters. You have people who see through your shit. You just don’t like it.

      • And before you try painting US as stalkers, kindly remember that you remain at the top of the list for how many comments get made here, except for myself.

        And you continue to visit here more times a day than I do.

        Wanna talk some more about what stalkers and haters WE are?
        Right. Thought so.

      • You stupid cunt I’ve been in your house. You have a plastic tub and I know the girl your man is talking to when your not looking so keep on telling lies til they bite you on your big fat ass.

      • Honestly I wasn’t going to say anything about Tabetha’s comment, but I cannot hold back what I think and feel. It goes against all I am, and my basic nature to set things right. So let’s get to the bones of the matter, shall we? Tabetha’s false bravado is nothing more than her desperate attempt to be who and what she will never be, me and every other person she’s emulated. Mores the pity that she can’t be herself. Poor thing must be so boring that she copies everyone with a real personality.

        She claims she was going to take her authors with her on this magical excursion but she forgets who her greatest confidant was at that time, oh it was me. So dear Tabetha shall the truth be told by you, doubtful, or I, the one with no shame in her game? Knowing that answers ladies and gents I’ll tell you. She claimed that she was making this big deal to take all authors but in reality her ass was planning on cutting her authors by saying that jabberwocky didn’t care for their writing style, or as in C.R.’s case forced a change of deadline and cause a breach in Tabetha’s favor, of course. But there NEVER was a deal, it was Tabetha’s way to get extra cash from what she considered dead weight.

        Now let’s address another statement from the dear loving and caring publisher, Ms I have no real name, Jones. She has said time and time again how she cares about her authors, how much she says that they are family and she wishes them all the best? She’d NEVER abuse,insult or do anything to cause upset. We have all heard, or read those words, correct? So please explain to me why she is making a mockery of something with spiritual meaning about a former author, that being me.

        In 2011 I had a memorial piece tattoo designed and tatted on my left arm. This tattoo has the initials of family and friends who have passed.

        It also contains 3 skulls depicting the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. These 3 statements have specific meaning to 3 special people I love dearly. Hear no evil was for my grammy, no matter what she refused to hear a bad thing about anyone. Speak no evil was my granddad he never spoke an bad word about anyone. And see no evil was for my mother in law because she seen beauty in everything.

        Yet here is that self proposed wonderful mother, exactly what is she teaching her kid, with this blatant disrespect not for me but my deceased love ones?

        I ask you to look at her ignorance, her blatant disregard for the deceased, hell she desecrates graves with her skulking around and pouring “blood” on herself in the cemetery, I guess I should expect nothing less.

        But you tell me just in these 2 pictures alone, exactly where is that family she screams about? Where is the respect she claims for those authors? Where is she showing anything but animosity towards the authors who have left her and her lies behind?

      • I just love it when the FACTS come pouring forth from the people that were there at the time. No, folks, there never was a deal with Jabberwocky. The guy that runs it himself said that he’s never heard of her. The whole “deal” was not an attempt to promote her authors, it was an elaborate scheme to breach their contracts and get them to pay her a separation fee. Very different from the story she tells, isn’t it?

        No, she has no respect for her authors, herself or anybody else. The only thing she respects is money and how to get her hands on it. If any author, friend, boyfriend, family member or anybody else thinks differently, they don’t know her at all, and are in for a rude awakening when they meet the real Tabetha Jones face to face. They might not see those true colors right away, but they will, eventually. They always do.

        And before she pitches a fit about that photo, it was screen capped from where she posted it publickly, HERE. So nobody trolled her. Nobody “stole” her picture. SHE posted it for the world to see.

        There’s the real face of Tabetha Jones. Scheming, underhanded, greedy and disrespectful. Become involved with her at your peril. Nobody that’s ever dealt with her has walked away happy. Not one. She chews ’em up, spits ’em out and leaves a trail of battered victims in her wake. And she doesn’t give ’em a second thought, unless they DARE speak up about her. And then she calls them liars and haters, for telling the truth about her.

        Watch yourself folks. If you deal with her, it’ll happen to you, too.

  4. Update:

    As of June, 2016, Tabetha Jones has no publishing companies in operation that we know about, so our investigation of her has been halted. The point of examining her in the first place was to advocate for authors that reported no royalties and other related abuse from her. If she’s not involved with publishing anymore, that job’s done.

    The posts about her remain in public view in case she starts a new one in the future.

    If more publishing concerns about Tabetha Jones (Willis, Farmer Hoover, Saulters, etc) – AKA Zooey Sweete, Emerald Rai Fleurs, et al – arise in the future, we will post relevant updates. But for now, we’re focusing on happier topics.


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