Query Letter Swipe File Kokoski

Query Perfection: Reviewing Christopher Kokoski’s ‘Query Letter Swipe File’

This is a kick-ass tool for your traditional publishing arsenal. This is “query letter how-to” meets “plug-and-play”. In Query Letter Swipe File, Christopher Kokoski once again delivers clear, no-nonsense guidance on an integral part of traditional publishing: the query letter.

What Will You Learn?

Query Letter Swipe File breaks down the components of a solid query letter and then compartmentalizes them so that you can fill in the blanks based on your particular story. By presenting the information in a way that is flexible and easy to customize, Kokoski shows his deep understanding of how varied the literary world can be. Many authors still attempt to teach people with a one-size-fits-all approach.

How Is Information Presented?

The format is easy and quick to read / swipe through (hence the title). This is a fantastic book to have in your physical and digital library as a go-to reference for every query letter you’ll ever write. The paragraphs are short and casual. The language is easy to understand and doesn’t get bogged down in a bunch of technical jargon that slows down or confuses readers of some non-fiction. I truly believe that just about anyone could pick up this book and write a decent query letter–even if they’ve never done it before (like me!).

 

What Should You Look Out For?

It looks like there were a few typos present that may catch you off guard upon first reading, but it’s easy to get past them because of how the templates are set up. For example, in template #4 (the one I used for the query letter I’ve included), the copy read:

In [BESTSELLING AUTHOR IN YOUR GENRE] meets
[BESTSELLING BOOK OR MOVIE IN YOUR GENRE], this
story blends [GENRE COMPONENT], [GENRE
COMPONENT] and [GENRE COMPONENT] with [GENRE
COMPONENT].

So, as written, if completed, this section of my query letter might read:

“In Stephen King meets IT, this story blends childhood trauma, horror, and mystery with fantasy.”

which doesn’t make a lot of sense. But I believe he meant that you might say something like:

“In Stephen King’s novel IT, childhood trauma, horror, and mystery are blended with fantasy.”

What Will You LOVE About This Book?

The standout feature of Query Letter Swipe File is definitely the list of words and phrases that you can insert into the templates as you please. This means that Kokoski has done all the heavy lifting for you concerning how to word the openings, endings, and transitions that you’ll need to strengthen your query letter. I love it when instructions and tasks are made as simple as possible, and Kokoski has definitely done that in this book!

 

Final Verdict: 5 / 5 stars ⭐ ⭐ 

Query Letter Swipe File by Christopher Kokoski is fully loaded with everything you need to quickly and easily get a query letter constructed that will help you present your work in the best way possible.

Full Disclosure

I am a self-published author ONLY! I have never had to write a query letter and don’t know that I will ever have the desire or need to. However, in order to review this book, I did actually write a short query letter for Show Her using a template that was included in the book. You can read it at the end of the review.

 

About the Author

Learn more about Christopher Kokoski on his website: www.ChristopherKokoski.com.

 

Sample Query Letter for Show Her

Dear Supre Agente,

 

Based on your interest in dystopian and romantic literature, Show Her would be a perfect piece for you to represent.

 

Erika Wogo knows how to live a life that is the envy of everyone around her. She meticulously maintains her outward appearance, adheres to her husband’s every demand without question, and even passes her knowledge of being a proper wife on to others who are willing and eager to learn how to become (and stay) married.

 

But when a co-worker confesses to having an affair with Erika’s husband, Erika’s world view is shaken and the countdown to Erika’s divorce–and permanent social ruin–begins. Erika knows that it is only a matter of time before her husband will formally end their “purchase agreement” and leave her divorced and tainted for the rest of her life.

 

With a mix of cunning, determination, and sophisticated bio-weaponry, Erika does all she can to defend her marriage and her reputation against her husband’s infidelity. But, as adept as she is at managing her rivals in love, her loyal followers, her public persona, and the ex-boyfriend who still loves her without question, she will inevitably have to face the consequences of her nefarious actions.

 

Show Her is a dystopian psychological thriller blended with science fiction and romance. Show Her is a complete novella at 23,320 words. Please note that this is a simultaneous submission.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

T. L. Curtis

TLCurtis@Volo-Press.com

404-666-1126

 

volo press show her t l curtis

Marvel at the Twists of ‘Show Her’ by T. L. Curtis

Read author Michelle Phillips‘ 5-star review of Show Her on Goodreads

“I found this novella to be an interesting tale. The author creates a very unique way for the main character to tell us the history of her culture, that worked out very well. It is a strange world that she imagines, and you begin wondering how bad can it be, while marveling at the twists it takes in the telling. The future imagined by T.L. Curtis seems outrageous, yet it brings to mind the world of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaids Tale”, and we know it can become all too real.
It is a world that you can easily get lost in!
I found this book to be well written, and the perfect length! I enjoyed it very much!”

 

Get your copy of Show Her at Amazon, AudibleiTunes, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords.

volo press t l curtis

Check Out Feign II at Langmanual.com

Feign II: The Downfall  has been rated and reviewed at Langmanual.com.

“Rating of three out of five ponderous stars. Feign Collection Book 2. Poetry book by T.L. Curtis.

With a tagline like “The Downfall” it’s hardly a wonder this book is filled with poems that are frankly, downers. They convey sorrow and hopelessness. No two ways about it. That said. Don’t be fooled about my opinion. This book really pleasantly surprised me. I’m generally NOT a fan of poetry or sad stories, in fact I’ve only ever bought one poetry book in my entire life, and not by choice, it was for a school assignment. But since I liked another book by this author (Show Her) so I wanted to give it a chance. This author seems to have a knack for ponderous content so I sought out her other published work. I wasn’t disappointed.”

Read the rest of the review at http://www.langmanual.com/post/2252467.

Angel's Feather Alina Popescu

Volo Press Reviews: Angel’s Feather by Alina Popescu

Wondering if this dystopian, homo-erotic, science fiction story is a good fit for you? Read the official Volo Press review of Angel’s Feather by Alina Popescu and find out!

 

_______________________________________

 

Volo Press Rating System

0 – Couldn’t finish it. Wouldn’t recommend it to anyone in its current state.

1 –  Poor work. Brutal to get through, but did manage to finish. Painful experience. May be an acceptable read for die-hard fans of the genre AND the author.

2 – Sub-par work. Hard to get through. May be an okay read for fans of the genre or the author.

3 – Solid work. Multiple, minor issues / one or two major issues. Recommended for most people who need something to read on a road trip or bed rest.

4 – Strong work. Satisfying to read. A few grammatical or logistical errors, but nothing too distracting. Recommended for anyone.

5 – A fantastic read. Highly recommended to everyone.

6 – Virtually perfect. My life is incomplete if I don’t have a copy in my home. Will no-doubt read multiple times throughout my life.  YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK! 

Sub-ratings:

  • Nope

  • Poor

  • Okay

  • Good

  • Great

 

Overall Impression of ‘Angel’s Feather’ (Alina Popescu)

Angel’s Feather is about a human male, Adam, who falls in love with a ‘Flyer’–angel-like beings with wings who monitor humans to make sure that they don’t try to escape from Earth. At this point in the (hopefully distant) future, humans have depleted Earth of most of it’s This Flyer is named Michael

If you enjoy fan fiction involving same-sex romantic couples, and aren’t normally bothered by character inconsistencies and grammar problems, you will probably enjoy Angel’s Feather.

Rating: 2.9

Writing: Okay

There were multiple things that bothered me about the writing, including grammatical issues and what appeared to be a lack of fluency in English. Recognizing that that could be an issue, I lifted the rating a little.

Examples:

“…had me staring at Michael, mouth gapping.” (Gaping)

“I latched on that spark of hope…” (Latch on to a piece of something, not a spark)

“…but that small ounce of trust…” (What’s a large ounce?)

And it wouldn’t have been quite as distracting if these all hadn’t happened within the first 15% of the book. The rest of the work continued on with similar issues.

 

Characters: Nope

Main Character: Adam

Lover / Overseer: Michael

 

For me, the characters were more convenient than realistic. I try to be a little more forgiving since I am a licensed psychotherapist (and I know that my analysis of human behavior can be a little more intense), but even so, I can’t think of a single character that behaved in a away that seemed consistent.

For example, Michael was presented as cold because of his disappointment with humans breaking the rules and being executed for it. Yet, within minutes of appearing in the book, he hugs Adam and licks bodily fluid off of him (calm down, just tears ^_^).

Questions that arose from that single scene included:

  • If Michael has simply been assigned to do a job, why does he even care if a human lives or dies? It’s like a soldier assigned to assassinate someone being concerned about whether or not they have prostate cancer or a cold. If it helps him do his job to be emotionally distant, he’d probably remain that way or just resign or ask to be reassigned if he couldn’t (this is possible because he does get reassigned later in the book). Maybe if Michael had fallen in love with a human before that he’d had to kill or if he was half human himself this might have made more sense.
  •  If they’ve had no physical contact in the years since
    Spoiler Alert

    Michael killed Adam’s father

    [collapse]
    , why would he suddenly lick Adam’s tears and hug him? 
    Michael and Adam apparently see each other on a relatively regular basis, so why is Adam all of a sudden in tears about this and why is Michael all of a sudden a caring and consoling being(if that’s why you call tear-licking)?
  • If Flyers are supposed to be “emotionless” and cold, wouldn’t this unusual behavior have gotten a rise out of the crowd that was surrounding Michael and Adam at the time? It seems like there would have been some shock, outrage, confusion, maybe even fear from the other people of the village who were witnessing this, but they seemed to act like it didn’t even happen.

Adam, the main character, behaved in ways that seemed erratic as well. One minute, he empathizes with Michael, and the next he’s angry at him, and then he’s letting him hold him? All in the same few seconds? And even after this intimate, yet public, scene, Adam labels Michael “as untouchable as the fake angels in our religious books.” Why? You were LITERALLY just in his arms?!

I’ve seen this pattern before in my own and other people’s writing. It seemed as thought the characters did whatever the author wanted them to do to complete a particular scene that the author had in mind. This often results in characters seeming unstable mentally and emotionally, since they are swayed by the wind of creativity in the writer’s mind instead of their own motivations or the circumstances taking place in their world.

For Adam, empathizing with beings who were essentially his jailers seemed too happenstance. He was perfectly set up to feel resentment and anger towards his father and his uncle. Honestly, he could have felt that towards the Flyers, like everyone else, and it would have fit in seamlessly. But I have to have a stronger understanding of Adam’s psyche in order to be able to validate his feelings of empathy towards beings who kill people like him.

Plot: Good

In theory, this is a really cool plot. The idea of having made contact with a myriad of non-human life forms and trying to get off of a planet we abused irreparably is strong. I also like the idea of a charge falling in love with someone who has been told to monitor him, especially with the history between them. And, of course, man-on-man action gets me through my day, so that helped a lot. Even though there was only a single sex scene in the whole book! Boooo! ^_^

All that was missing for me was the solid execution of the details of a plot like this one. It’s like having all the puzzle pieces sitting on a table near each other, but never clicking them together to make the final, smooth, whole picture.

 

Have you read Angel’s Feather by Alina Popescu, yet?

Leave a comment if you have. If you haven’t, click here to get your copy now!

 

 

 

 

 

3 Hot Pens That Love Your Budget

Here are a few pens that give you a little taste of luxury without sending you to the poorhouse.
__________
 

Pens range in price from a few pennies to over a million dollars. Some pens you wouldn’t mind tossing after one use, others become life-long accessories.
Finding a pen that writes well, feels comfortable, lasts long, and doesn’t destroy our bank accounts can be difficult, but I’ve found a few that you might want to try.

 Uni-ball Signo Bold 207 Retractable Gel

This pen is retractable, lightweight, and B-O-L-D (1.0 mm line)! I like this pen because of how thickly it lays down ink. In my near-decade of working in social services, having a pen that marks thick means copies of signatures and form fields come out clear and legible copy after copy. Also, you are purchasing that level of quality for the price (around $1 per pen), but that amount might not break your finances completely. This is especially true if you buy a 12-pack instead of one or two at a time.
Watch Out! – I’ve not been able to find refills for this pen (if you do, please email me). So once it’s empty, you can toss it. I haven’t found this to be a problem because I value those thick lines and the writing comfort so much. If a pen not being refillable is a deal-breaker for you, steer clear!

 

 

Pilot Dr. Grip Medium FullBlack Retractable Ballpoint

Sleek, sexy and smooth, this is a ballpoint pen that I love to write with. It puts down a sophisticated, 1.0 millimeter line and the ink flows like silk. The grip is comfortable and the pen itself is has a thicker body that helps decrease my hand fatigue. This pen is refillable and comes in a black-on-black style with only the clip being silver. I’ve seen this pen sell for as little $6 online, but usually between $8 and $10 from a physical store. But since it looks great, writes well, is comfortable, and is refillable, it’s an investment I didn’t mind making.

  

Pentel EnerGel Alloy RT Liquid Gel

So far, the ultimate favorite of mine! I can’t resist a metal barrel, so this pen immediately caught my eye when I saw it on the shelf at WalMart. This is an aesthetically pleasing pen that comes in (so far as I’ve seen) pink, three difference shades of blue, purple, black, red, silver, and gold. All of these colors have silver accents.

This pen is retractable. It has a heavy body that has a classy vibe. Every time I pull this pen out to write with it I get either a compliment or a question about it’s construction or where I found it (most times, I get all three!). Even for people who aren’t office supply geeks like myself, the sight of this pen screams “quality.” It sells for between $6 and $20, sometimes the difference in price is solely based on the color (the gold body, for instance, will be on the higher end). But, being refillable, you can just pick your favorite color and use it ad infinitum!

Be sure to share you favorite pen picks with your fellow Volo Press readers by leaving a comment.