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Should I Include This in my Query?
Posted: Sunday, June 26, 2011 9:20 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241

Quick poll:

I have a book I'm revising now and planning to query in the fall. It is loosely based on--perhaps better to say "inspired by"--a Bob Dylan song.

Now, I thnk that's kind of a fun fact, but what issues does it potentially raise? Copyright problems? It's YA book and kids aren't into Bob Dylan? (A reader really wouldn't have any idea about the song connection unless they happened to know the song well.)

So, should I mention this in my query or not?

Posted: Monday, June 27, 2011 7:35 AM
Joined: 5/4/2011
Posts: 20

Inspiration shouldn't be part of a query. Just the pitch. Unless the song is integral to the plot and characters (ie Bob Dylan is in it), then leave it out. Plus, there's no copyright on inspiration, otherwise nothing would ever be published. As long as it's not used/stolen directly, then inspire away, but leave the query to the basics of your book.
Posted: Monday, June 27, 2011 2:31 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241

I'm not sure where to draw the line. The novel's characters are basically the same as in the song, but being a song, it only has a teeny plot with hints to back story and possible further action and that's where my novel goes.

However, if you changed the names of the characters, there might or might not be any connection to the song since the action of the song is only about 5% of the overall story.

I am leaning towards leaving it out. On the other hand, I've always found the song evocative, which of course is why I wrote the book. If an agent also liked the song it might be one of those bonding moments.

Or it might just be confusing and sound weird.
Skytale Writer
Posted: Monday, July 11, 2011 5:00 AM
Joined: 7/10/2011
Posts: 7

You could easy not take up too much room in the query and mention it. It seems important.

I am currently seeking representation for my novel, "Title," based loosely on the Bob Dylan song, "Title."

Synopsis: go from there.

The key is to be brief, but pointed.
Posted: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 12:22 AM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157

Leave it out. Authors draw inspiration from many places. It's a great tidbit for a book interview or blog post but it doesn't belong in the query letter.
Posted: Sunday, September 18, 2011 5:05 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241

Okay then! I have posted the draft query itself. No mention of Bob or the song. I think it's about right, but would love any feedback ya'll have.

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