The query letter
Today I want to talk to everyone about the query letter.
All us writers who plan on acquiring an agent or publisher have to write them.
I’m going to break down the query letter for you.
Dear super awesome agent,
Intro paragraph. This is a personalized bit about why you chose this specific agent. Prior to querying anyone be sure to do your homework. Check out their other clients. Read a few of the books they’ve sold. Read their blogs. Read their clients blogs. Make sure you would be a good fit with this specific agent or publisher.
The Main body. This is the most important part! This is where you really hook the agent or publisher. Here is where you break down your book. This is probably the letter that gives me the hardest time. It’s condensing your 50 k – 100 + k into a few hundred words. These letters will turn me white by time I’m 30.
Personalized bit. Put in the title, word count, and genre in the final paragraph. You also put in ANY publishing credentials you may have or relevant experience.
Thanks for your time and consideration,
The lowly worm of a writer
So that’s the basics of a query. Beginning. Middle. End.
There are a lot of amazing sites out there that can help out a TON with actual samples and people who can tear apart what you may already have written.
Absolutewrite has an awesome section called Query letter hell where you can post your query letter and get some spectacular help.
QueryShark is by far my favorite site to go to though. Agent extraordinaire Janet Reid churns out the chum over there.
Rachelle Gardner has a great post on How To Write A Query Letter
Or over at Pub Rants awesome agent Kristin Nelson has a few different query letter advice how-to’s on her side bar.
For those who are at the querying stage good luck!
For those who are still writing but are almost there keep on chugging along!
4 thoughts on “The query letter”
I actually find the intro bit the hardest, because I have to separate from the fiction of the novel and not hide behind my characters. As a child, I was naturally shy, so I never know what is appropriate to say, apart from the generic ‘I enjoy your work ethic and think we would make a great team’.
I still have trouble with my opening as well. I never know what to put. Should you be familiar. Be super professional. Name names. Don’t name names. Compare your book to others they’ve sold? Don’t compare? List others you enjoy? It’s very nerve wracking. The only part I never had a problem with was the closing. lol. I can say good-bye.
Haha, yeah. That’s exactly what runs through my mind. I’ve heard advice for both ways, which doesn’t help.
That’s why I estalk! lol I read their Twitter, blogs, and everything else I can find and hope that I can find something that tells me what their personalities are like. If I can determine that it should make the opening a bit easier. Right?