Congratulations! Your manuscript is ready to be viewed by the world. We’re proud of you. But now it’s time to get back to work and write the most important part of your future best seller: the query letter.

Knowing how to write a query letter is important because it acts as a cover letter to your work; it lets agents know why they should want more. If your query letter doesn’t pique their interest, chances are neither will your manuscript. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of items that a killer query letter should include (you can thank us later).

  • Personalized Effort: Agents read tons of query letters; they know if a query letter has been written specifically for them or if it’s been sent to a dozen others too. Write unique query letters, address them to specific people (names spelled correctly), and end them with gratitude.
  • A Hook: The query letter hook should be one sentence that sums up your whole work—who does what and why that should interest readers. Don’t worry—you’ll get more room to expand on this, but the hook lays the foundation and draws the agent into reading the rest of your query letter.
  • A Descriptive Paragraph: Following the hook (and before you’ve said anything about yourself), provide a more detailed synopsis of your work. Don’t get carried away though; too many details and agents won’t feel the need to read the manuscript.
  • Your Credentials: The final paragraph gives you the chance to explain why you are in a position to create this work—writing experience, previous publications, real-world experience, and so on. Avoid apologizing for a lack of any of these things.

Once you’ve got your query letter, check the publisher’s submittal guidelines to see if they prefer snail mail or e-mail and how much of the manuscript, if any, you can send with the query letter. For books (but not for articles), the manuscript should be completely finished before you send your query letter.

Finally, remember that every author has been rejected, even the best-known ones. A well-written, well-developed query letter could make all the difference!

Additional Resources

One thought on “How to Write a Killer Query Letter

  1. Ronnie Dauber says:

    Your article is informative and addresses an issue that authors need to understand before they write their own query letters. I have also posted an article with guidelines to writing good query letters on my own blog today, and I invite everyone to visit my blog and read them as well – not to compete but to further educate authors on the importance of query letters. When we write the perfect query letter, we increase our chances of having an editor read our book. http://ronniedauberauthor.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get a FREE QUOTE for Your Project Now!

Our expert editors and proofreaders are available for you anytime (day or night!) with affordable and personalized professional services.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
book writing software

What You Need to Know about Book-Writing Software

Oct 22, 2012 in Writing

Over the centuries, technology has helped make a plethora of jobs and tasks easier for people—and writing is no exception. If you are working on…

Common Writing Errors

10 Common Writing Errors

Jun 28, 2014 in Writing

Common writing errors and how to avoid them. We know that English writing rules aren’t easy to remember, especially when you take into account different…

writing website copy

Essential Tips for Writing Website Copy

Feb 06, 2019 in Writing

So you’re starting a website for your business, and while you’re researching how to write website copy, you keep coming across articles and blog posts…

Subscribe to Our Blog

Subscribe via RSS