After a conference, writers become excited and a bit anxious to respond to an invitation to send a query that an agent or publisher asked for. Here's a few tips I've learned over the years.
1. Respond! Respond in a timely fashion.
2. Visit the website! The agent/publisher may not have been explicit in how they want material sent to them. Many have detailed guidelines on how and what to send. I've noticed one change in several that sends me in a tizzy every time - a request for material to have a .3 indent in paragraphs rather than the standard .5. Beware of this. It might be a test to see how well you as an author follow directions or their publishing company has changed to this method and it has become standard measures for them.
Also, many prefer to have all material inserted into the body of the query, no attachments. So read the guidelines thoroughly.
3. Send only what is requested in the website, UNLESS, you have been told otherwise. The standard use to be the first three chapters. Now, the first ten pages is requested more frequently.
4. Be sure your synopsis is action packed. Make it exciting. A tough job, I know, but worth the effort in order to sell your book.
5. Remind the agent/publisher where and when you met them. Connect, connect, connect! That means calling them by their names! Address your query to a specific person!
6. Be ready for a rejection, but hopeful for a request for more. Pretend you are shopping for shoes. 'They may look adorable on the rack, but bite your toes when you try them on!'
7. Continue to search for other possible agents/publishers while you wait. Don't let time go by with only one query advertising your product.
8. It's okay to brag a bit. If you have finalled in a contest, mention this in your query.
9. Share your website address, your blog site, etc. Mention your writing in other areas if it is pertinent to your book.
9. Many now want a 'marketing plan' from the writer. This slips easily into the conversation when you mention your blog writing or other venues you have to sell your book. Mention your target audience and how you want to reach them.
10. Your query should be one page! Think of the TV show, "Minute To Win It." That's all you really have to grab the agent's attention.
Now's the time to dig in, polish your query and synopsis, and then ... send it out!
After that, refer back to #7. Keep searching, keep seeking for an agent or publisher that YOU want to work with.
Good Luck ~
Til next time ~