I think of a lot of things in terms of flavor. Numbers, for example: I think 3 would taste like a cracker, 9 would be sweet and 5 seems kind of metallic. I’m not going to claim synesthesia, but I have natural associations that drive me in that direction.
I think these associations are a powerful tool to evaluate and improve your writing.
An interstellar con artist forced to crew with the ship she screwed over (ARCLIGHT REDLINE). On office worker whose cynical humor hides suicidal tendencies (THE POWERS THAT BE). An autistic woman who just wants to be left alone, forced into a revenge drama (EVERY MOUNTAIN MADE LOW).
That means I’m actively looking for some special author that needs an agent. If you’re not familiar with Pitch Wars, I suggest you go take a look at Brenda Drake’s website and get briefed. Basically, it’s a contest where agented/published authors like me choose a manuscript to critique and read, then try to get an agent for our mentees.
Self-pub or trad pub, it doesn’t matter. Everyone needs a query letter.
“Not me,” some will say. “I’m my own boss and CreateSpace doesn’t reject anyone! I don’t need your Big 5 (4… 3… 2…) Hegemony!”
Okay, cool. But what are you going to write for your book’s backmatter? What do you want to put on your cover? What do you say when you meet Adam Savage in an elevator and he asks you what your book is about?
The query letter is the mission statement of a book. You have to take it seriously, whether you’re sending it to agents or self-marketing. It’ll inform you about your differentiators, help set the visual tone and create a strong sense of your identity as an author.
You’ll need every part of a query to market your self-pub. Paragraph 1 contains your log line, paragraph 2 contains your synopsis and paragraph 3 contains your bio. You already have to write it, so why not start out right?