Nick Thomas is is an editor with Arthur A. Levine Books, where he started as an editorial assistant. He edits middle grade and young adult books.
Nick chose the work spark very deliberately. He believes falling in love with a book is a lot like falling in love with a human being. When you meet that book it makes you say, "Wow!" It's something you can't get enough of and it's something you want to tell everyone about it.
You always want to put your best foot forward with query letter and first chapter. Create a well crafted query letter. It will make an editor more inclined to think there might be something there.
Show, don't tell. If you are on a date, you are not going to say to your date, "Hey, I'm super funny and 50% of the people in room usually laugh at my jokes." Instead, you would want to show the person you have a sense of humor. The same is true in story. Dramatize through action.
Don't give everything away in the first chapter.
Ask questions. Create initial questions within the beginning pages. With trust the reader will want to follow along to find the answers.
Present your best self. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Don't waste any space in your first chapter with anything that isn't worthwhile.
Don't make your first chapter too long.
A cliffhanger never hurts.
Read as much as possible.
"Just because someone doesn't like your book doesn't mean it isn't good."