Our Very First Vlog Post: Should You Mention FP in Your Query Letter?

6 Jan

By Sarah J. Maas


Hey everyone!

So, thanks to our dear friend Anthony’s wonderful suggestion, we’re changing it up a bit today. Instead of writing an article, I decided to vlog about my topic: “Should You Mention FictionPress in Your Query Letter?”

Check it out!

I hope you all enjoyed it! Feel free to subscribe to our YouTube channel: we’ll hopefully be posting vlog entries on a frequent basis. Make sure to return on Friday for our Question of the Week: “What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?” And don’t forget to enter our Book Trailer Contest!


Sarah J. Maas is the author of several novels, including QUEEN OF GLASS, a YA fantasy retelling of Cinderella. Her agent currently has her novel on submissions to editors. Sarah resides with her fiancΓ© in Los Angeles. You can visit her blog here.


30 Responses to “Our Very First Vlog Post: Should You Mention FP in Your Query Letter?”

  1. Anthony January 6, 2010 at 6:46 AM #

    I was so thrilled to see this! Love the vlog. At least the 9min video was the only technical difficulty you encountered (I hope)


    • Sarah J. Maas January 6, 2010 at 12:14 PM #

      Haha, thank YOU for that awesome e-mail!

      Alas, that video was NOT the only technical difficulty. The video also managed to FREEZE on me at times, hence the random cuts to retakes (wow, I’m phrasing that terribly). *sigh*

      I really enjoyed vlogging though. Maybe I’ll start doing it for my own blog.

      Thanks again! You’re the best!

  2. Savannah J. Foley January 6, 2010 at 10:05 AM #

    Again, excellent, super informative video.

  3. Corona January 6, 2010 at 11:44 AM #

    Great vlog and good tip(s) πŸ™‚

    • Sarah J. Maas January 6, 2010 at 12:14 PM #

      Thank you so much!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  4. rachelsimon January 6, 2010 at 12:50 PM #

    I like your blue couch/fouton. Oh…and your vlog. But I already left a comment on YouTube…

  5. Sarah J. Maas January 6, 2010 at 12:52 PM #

    Haha, that’s my Reading Couch. I ❀ my office so hardcore. In the nine-minute/silent video, I gave a mini-tour of my office, but, alas, there was no sound.

    • rachelsimon January 6, 2010 at 1:41 PM #

      Maybe in your next vlog, you should do that tour. πŸ˜‰

      Also, I have a question. For credentials (of your writing)…er…in a query… How far do you go back? Do they want more recent things or can it be anything you’ve been published in (ever)? I mean, I was published bilingually in fourth grade, but I doubt that would count., but I’m curious nevertheless. πŸ™‚

      • Sarah J. Maas January 6, 2010 at 1:45 PM #

        Ummm…that definitely does not count, and if you were to mention that, I’m sure the agent would give you an instant rejection, lol. I’d say use common sense–stuff that has been recently published or awarded…anything that seems legit, and doesn’t make you look like you’re grasping at straws.

        And if you don’t have any credentials, don’t worry about it.

      • rachelsimon January 6, 2010 at 2:28 PM #

        Okay for some reason I can’t comment to YOU, but thanks. I figure it is no harm in asking. πŸ™‚

  6. Carolina January 6, 2010 at 1:19 PM #

    I love the vlog! So cool. And how cute are you? Darling, you should have been vlogging all along. Thanks for the info, too. I’d never heard of Fiction Press, though it makes sense why you would’t put the info into your query. You are right, though…in all cases, if the premise is good (and the query letter is good), the credentials don’t really matter–I’d like to think they don’t, anyway (although, perhaps once I have credentials, I might change my mind…haha). I wish I could enter your book trailer contest but I’m rather incompetent when it comes to anything computer related. It’s amazing I manage to blog, really. Now a vlog? Will probably never happen for me.

    • Sarah J. Maas January 6, 2010 at 1:26 PM #

      Thank you!!! πŸ™‚ My computer was giving me SO much grief while filming–the camera would freeze (hence the random cuts in the vlog), etc., etc. BUT I had a great time vlogging….maybe I’ll do it more often! You should definitely try vlogging at least once–all you do is turn on your camera (or computer camera) and start talking….Of course, then there’s the film editing, but that’s another story. πŸ˜›

      And yeah—I had NO “real” credentials (AKA publication, having a short story published in a notable magazine) while querying, save for having a short story of mine published in my college’s literary magazine (which doesn’t count, I think). But yeah–good stories are good stories, regardless of your credentials. If you’ve got a strong story on your hands, odds are that an agent will (eventually) snatch it up. Or so I like to think. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for stopping by!!!!

  7. Chantal Mason January 6, 2010 at 3:57 PM #

    What a fun idea, I love the Vlogging! Very honest representation of what makes it or breaks it when it comes to writing credentials~! It makes sense to me; FP holds a lot of personal value, not only with the anonymous critiquing (which is a VERY good point) but also, there’s nothing like hundreds of people telling you they’re dying for the next chapter to get you writing it, right? πŸ˜›

    More vblogging! Also, tour of the office sounds like a good plan, I’ll tune in πŸ˜‰

    • Sarah J. Maas January 6, 2010 at 4:11 PM #

      Thank you!!! πŸ™‚

      FP really is an amazing place to get feedback, but also to learn some PR stuff–how to interact with readers/fans, how to promote yourself, etc.

      And maybe I WILL wind up doing a tour of my office for my own blog…though I think you guys might be bored to tears, lol.

      Thanks again!

      • Chantal Mason January 6, 2010 at 4:21 PM #

        Oh, just in response to your comment on “how to interact with readers/fans, how to promote yourself, etc” let me just say, I think out of all the authors (professional, and FP peoples) and I think I’ll even include any person of success in their field, I’ve never encountered such a sweet person as yourself, who always replies to her reader’s comments with humility and sincere (or at least well feigned!) interest and concern. You’re awesome, and make it very easy for everyone to root for you πŸ˜€

        Keep on rocking πŸ˜€

      • Sarah J. Maas January 6, 2010 at 4:27 PM #


        Thank you so much for that!! It really means a lot to me. You just brought the BIGGEST smile to my face. I’m so honored to have met so many wonderful people through my writing, and it is the LEAST I can do (especially for the FP people who have encouraged and supported me through the years) to make sure I reply to each and every comment. YOU are awesome, and it is such a pleasure to interact/blog/whatever with you (and everyone else)!! Thanks again!

  8. Andrea Maas January 6, 2010 at 4:22 PM #

    This is awesome! Sounds like you had a few technical difficulties but you can’t tell one bit! I love the vlogging idea – keeps your interest! I hope you’re doing well and I’ll check back on here to see what you’re up to πŸ™‚

    • Sarah J. Maas January 6, 2010 at 4:25 PM #

      Hey!!! Omg! Thank you so much for stopping by! πŸ˜€

      Hope all is well!


  9. Rowenna January 6, 2010 at 6:28 PM #

    Great youtube premiere, ladies (and especially Sarah πŸ™‚ )

    • Sarah J. Maas January 6, 2010 at 6:42 PM #

      Thank you so much!!! πŸ™‚

  10. Landon January 6, 2010 at 8:00 PM #

    LOL. I love it.

  11. junebugger January 7, 2010 at 1:01 AM #

    this was so fun to watch! seeing the person i’ve been blogging with for the past few months. The only other vlog I saw of you was you going something like this: ARGGGGGGGG

    Yes, you seemed much different in this one.

    I’m so happy to be working with such a sweet and knowledgeable person as yourself

    • Sarah J. Maas January 7, 2010 at 2:59 AM #

      Awww, thanks, June!!! That’s so kind of you to say!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  12. Anna Deles January 7, 2010 at 6:27 AM #

    :)) thanks for the Vlog sarah!! that was amazing you were so adorable (as i already mentioned in my comment to you on FB) hehe you did great and you did mention some great advice. I’m glad that you hold your time in FictionPress dear because all your readers including myself feel so grateful and I suppose so special to have read such an awesome epic, as well as SHARE the experience with you, and give u feedback and support as you mentioned.

    Even though credentially speaking in query letters FP may not hold a lot of real value, I think for writers like yourself, personally, FP means the world, especially for a writer starting out. πŸ™‚ I hope you know that you have readers across the world (and at least one here in NZ!!) who are with you and with QoG 110%!!! πŸ™‚ all the best chica. xo

    • Sarah J. Maas January 7, 2010 at 12:20 PM #

      Thanks!! Meeting you was definitely one of the highlights of my Fictionpress experience! πŸ™‚ You’re the best!!!!

  13. Amanda Waldo January 7, 2010 at 10:25 AM #

    Thanks Sarah! This was good advice and very relevant as I’ve scheduled myself to start working on my query tomorrow. I’m taking your vlog as a sign that I need to get my sweet rear in gear and stop putting this off. Thanks for the wisdom and the motivation!

    • Sarah J. Maas January 7, 2010 at 12:21 PM #

      Thank you!!!

      And omg!!! That’s so exciting!!! Good luck with querying, and keep me posted on how it goes!!

  14. Julie E. January 15, 2010 at 8:41 AM #

    I’m on Fiction Press as of a week or so ago, (see link above!) but a lot of non-writer friends have been “warning” me – how are you going to sell something that you’re giving away for free on the internet? (I’m currently querying agents with one of my stories on FP.)
    Is there anyway that posting a story on Fiction Press could damage its chances of being picked up by an agent?

  15. Vee January 19, 2010 at 4:12 AM #

    Sarah, awesome vlog to kick things off. Very informative and it’s always comforting to know that if you have a great story, you’ll get picked up regardless.

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