Recently, Billie Johnson, Oak Tree Press Publisher, spoke to the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime.
For a query, she prefers three paragraphs:
1. A recap of the story in three to five sentences.
2. How you plan to market the book.
3. Something about the author. (My advice: any writing credits and why you are the one to write the story)
Read the publisher's guidelines so you aren't wasting time by querying a genre the publisher doesn't publish.
Once you've queried, don't bug the publisher or the acquisitions' editor. This process takes time.
Billie says she's not opposed to making a few adjustments to the contract, but will pass on publishing if the author wants too many changes.
She prefers working with authors who don't have a lot of delusions about the book business, stating that there are many layers to selling books.