Secondly, Thank you to everyone for providing such great feedback to our queriers. I think it is VERY helpful to get multiple perspectives, and I really appreciate those of you who have taken time to critique the queries on day 1 and day 2.
Okay, here is today's query:
Dear Mandy Hubbard:
I've been following your blog ever since I saw the title Prada and Prejudice. That's the sort of playful tone I've brought to my latest project.
[Excellent! I'm immediately oriented as to the style of the book, and the opening proves this person has queried me for a reason. Although most agents don't write books, they've probably SOLD books, and perhaps your novel has some theme or tone that can tie in with one of their client's books? Always good to check.]
Robert’s parents only want him to choose a career. Any career path at Dark Academy will do, whether Environmental Waste, Continuing World Hunger, War & Division, or the most prestigious: Power, Money & Glory.
[HA. Love it. I might delete "only" from the first line but aside from that? Awesome. Also clearly relates back to your "playful tone" comment.]
But Robert “Repairman” Gilbrinkle isn’t cut out for the world’s most elite super villain academy. No matter how he tries, Robert just can’t be as bad as he is supposed to be—and his evil twin, Rupert, won’t let him forget it for a minute.
[I'm not totally clear what "repairman" as a nickname really conveys, but aside from that, you're 'growing' your plot nicely, with each paragraph building on the last. And I love the name rupert for an evil twin. ]
When he uncovers Rupert’s explosive plot for revenge that threatens to destroy a by-standing town, Robert must choose at last between being loyal to his family, and being true to the hero within.
[Title Redacted] is a middle grade superhero tale of labels, misfits, and self-discovery, complete at 40,000 words. I'm submitting it exclusively for your consideration.
A: Excellent. I'm glad its middle grade and not YA, as I think this could do well in the MG category.
B: I would not reccomend exclusive queries. I actually read/respond to queries, generally, in less than a week. But many agents can take 4-6 weeks. And the fact is, they dont even KNOW your query is an exclusive until they're already reading it. But queries are usually read in the order received-- so, it hasn't moved up in the pile at all. Query in rounds/batches. Otherwise you'll be waiting. A lot. And publishing is slow enough as it is. ]
So... overall? A very strong query. It's nicely personalized for me, introduces a character with a strong internal conflict, and showcases a plot in which there's plenty at stake. The word count and age range is right on target.
It might be a teeny bit brief-- perhaps we could get a little more of a sense of the character beyond his desire to be a do-gooder, but at the end of the day, this will probably still garner requests.
It's slightly more boy-oriented than I typically gravitate toward, but I would probably still request it to see if the voice would win me over to the dark side. :-)
So how about you, readers? Would you guys request this?