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Review: FROM THE QUERY TO THE CALL by Elana Johnson

A few weeks ago, I won a copy of Elana Johnson’s e-book, FROM THE QUERY TO THE CALL, just as it was released. I was pretty darn excited. Why?  Well, despite the many, many examples of queries I’ve read online, how-to posts I’ve studied, and attempts I've made, I’ve never been able to write a good query. I love Elanja’s blog (so smart and funny!), and I especially love her voice, so I was eager to see if this e-book would be the eye-opener I needed.

The short answer:  It was.  The long answer:  I’d like to skip today’s WIP post one more week and review it for you.


from the query to the callElana Johnson's e-book, FROM THE QUERY TO CALL, is exactly what the title lends you to believe it is; an informative guide that takes you from the basic start-questions of what a query is and isn't and why you need one, to two detailed sections called "Writing a Killer Query" and "Entering the Query Trenches."  By the time you finish its concise, organized, well-written 63 pages, you'll not only understand the anatomy of a successful query but how to research agents, query professionally, endure the dreaded WAIT, and everything after—dealing with rejection and fielding THE CALL. 

Three things I really love about Elanja's book.  1.)  It has everything for the writer just starting to learn about "the process" of seeking representation, but plenty also for the writer who has a good handle on it.  2.)  It is, essentially, said "process" in one well-organized bundle with a handy column ever-present on the side that enables you to jump to the section you want to read or re-read.  No more hours of searching Google and hopping from site to site as you try to piece it all together. 3.)  There are seven well-written query examples used to teach throughout the book and then available in their entirety at the end.  All of which have gained their respective writers representation or resulted in a high percentage of requests.  In other words, all successful.  I learn well by example, so these queries were like the icing on the cake.

There's no telling which section(s) will be the most helpful to you until you buy it and read it for yourself, but for me, it was the meat of the book, "Writing a Killer Query."  The way Elana broke the example queries down and showed me the four elements of a successful query was exactly what I needed.  Many others have done this online for free, sure, but not quite so in depth and certainly not Elana-style.  The big eye opener for me?  Learning I've been missing a very important element in my query—the consequence—and how important that small element really is.

Believe it or not, there's a cherry on top all that cake and icing. If you buy FROM THE QUERY TO THE CALL, Elana will critique your query either by e-mail or on her Query Ninja blog.  Not only are you bound to learn a lot from this book, but you'll get a personalized, hands-on lesson too, if you wish.  Pretty darn good deal, and a great opportunity. 

Congratulations on a fabulous e-book, Elana, and thank you so much for the insight and knowledge you've put into a neat, accessible package and provided so many.


Have you read FROM THE QUERY TO THE CALL?  If so, please leave your thoughts in the comments.  Haven't read it?  Feel free to ask any questions you might have.


Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Hmmm. This sounds like the kind of book I need. I know my query letters are a weak area. Thanks for the review.

Christina Lee said...

I have her book too (it's good) and had my query critiqued by her on her blog--it was a great experience and now I feel more confident about my WIP!! Go Elena!

Elana Johnson said...

*tearing up* Wow, thanks Casey! You are awesome. :)

Katie Anderson said...

Incredible review! I am so honored to be mentioned in this must have book!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

Elana rocks!

Sheri Perl-Oshins said...

Wow! Sounds fantabuloso!

Unknown said...

This book really is totally worthwhile. I agree with you entirely!!

Casey Something said...

Thanks everyone! And you're welcome, Elana. You've created such a great e-book for writers with a need to know! Love it.