How To Avoid The Dreaded Query Letter (Legitimately!)

Note: All the images in this post take you other places. Click to find out where they go!

Conventional wisdom says you have to have a query letter. It’s just one of the “Thou Shalt”s of the publishing industry. Generally speaking, we like query letters because we want to know a little about you, your writing style and your manuscript first. It’s also a good way to weed out people who can’t follow instructions. Still, though, too many people in the business place WAY too much emphasis on these things. Every author says, “Sure, I’ll write a query letter!” and then walks away mumbling darkly under his/her breath about pacts with Satan and nursing grim thoughts of setting one’s manuscript on fire before settling down to a job that requires no words at all. EVER.

Wouldn’t it be great if you just didn’t even have to mess with a query letter and have a shot at getting your manuscript read without jumping through the extra hoop?

Query letter

At Semper Press, we’re all about doing things differently than anyone else. Conventional wisdom got the industry into the mess it’s in, so why not try something new? Well, that’s exactly what we’re doing starting this Monday at 6pm Eastern!

During our First Three Lines Pitch Party, you can put up the first three sentences of your completed manuscript for us to look over. If we like it, we’ll ask you to submit the first chapter with NO QUERY LETTER REQUIRED! Even better, the first three lines that get the most visitor likes will be asked to submit the full manuscript, bypassing two layers of the vetting process and giving you a better chance at a contract with Semper Press. It’s only on for three days, from September 21st-24th, so get your first three lines polished and ready.

ManuscriptThis is what most publishers would say.

Semper says, “Sure…why not?” And from Monday until Thursday, we’re going to prove it. Just go here starting at 6pm Eastern on Monday and put in your three sentences, and then be sure to check out the work of the other authors as well! You have nothing to lose but a few minutes of your time, and there could be a contract worth 65% royalties in it for you just for a quick copy and paste. The party’s going on at our Facebook page, so be sure to like, share, tell everyone you’re attending and pass the word that they’re welcome too. We look forward to seeing you and your work, and hope you’ll be the next author we offer a contract to!


6 thoughts on “How To Avoid The Dreaded Query Letter (Legitimately!)

  1. Try again (Password problems …! 😦 )

    Sounds great, count me in! 🙂

    Question: [1] I presume it’s ONE Submission each – leaves me with some difficult decision-making!!
    [2] Will I get my wrists slapped for submitting 2 (full) Paragraphs = FOUR sentences so the
    extract makes better sense??

    Paul McDermott


    1. Good morning, Paul!

      Yes, please, one submission per person. We want to make it fair for everyone. 🙂
      And no, you won’t get your wrist slapped…but you will be disqualified. Think “The Holy Hand Grenade” for this one.

      Thanks so much for your interest! We look forward to seeing you there. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 🙂


      J.S. Wayne
      Chief Executive Grand High Cat Herder
      Semper Press


  2. Semper,
    I thought I’d posted a Submission to the First Three Lines challenge but I can’t SEE it anywhere on the site!
    Have I made a mess of it? Do I need to re-post?
    [I’m on GMT+1 and will be online for at least the next 3 hours, so plenty of time to respond]


    1. You did post it, but you got ahead of the clock and so we had to delete it to keep it fair. (You’re not the only one, so don’t feel too embarrassed, okay?) 🙂 If you can please repost it at 6pm Eastern, AFTER the official “Go” announcement, that would be wonderful. We’re really glad that everyone’s so excited to get underway, and look forward to reading what you’re bringing to the party!


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