The word query means question or to ask a question of someone about something. When it comes to writing query letters to editors, agents, or publishers, you’ll do well to keep this simple definition in mind. The question that you, the writer, wants answered is, “While you accept my work?” This is a valid question. In order to craft the perfect query letter,you must also answer the major question that your reader will have, “Why should I accept your work?” A good query letter has to do a few things, very well. They are:
- Introduce yourself and your book
- Pitch the concept or idea of your book
- Elicit a favorable response from the reader
You can break your query down into three sections; the introduction, the pitch, and the call. Let’s examine each section and outline what information should be found in each.
This is the opening paragraph in which you state your name and give the agent a little information about yourself. Share with them any experience you have that would make you the ideal person to write the book that you are proposing . Also let them know why you have chosen them to represent you and your book.
During the pitch, you’ll give a brief synopsis of the book. Tell them the intended audience for the book. Also share any plans you have for marketing the book. I call it a sales pitch because you have to sell him or her not only on the ideas in the book, but also on you as an author. After reading this part the agent should feel confident that you are the perfect person to write this book and that a publisher will want to buy it.
Any thing you write will get a response from the reader. Sometimes it’s good and other times it’s bad. When it comes to the perfect query you want the response to be positive. The agent should want to respond right away. End your query with a short call to action. Give them the next step in how to reach you and close the deal.
Until Next Time,
Nicole D. P. McLaughlin
- Perseverance: Tips and Advice on Querying Literary Agents (noblevalerie.com)
- Do You Need an Agent? (azrealbooks.wordpress.com)
- How To Write A Query Letter (fi5anderson.wordpress.com)