What is a query letter? Your query letter is a one page sales pitch to let agents know what kind of project you have written. What is a query letter used for?
But adhering to the list of ingredients and following the basic formula can make it that much easier. These days, most queries to agents will be e-queries. For e-queries, simply begin with the greeting. If it is a snail mail query, then use standard business letter formatting. First Paragraph Some agents and editors like essential basic information in the first paragraph: Do they maintain a blog?
If so, read it. For example, Agent X may be one those with a rampant distaste for queries beginning with a rhetorical question, especially one they can easily answer in the negative: The Synopsis The synopsis needs to answer the basic questions: Who is the protagonist? What do they want and why?
What does the protagonist do about it? How does the problem escalate?
Editors and agents see way too many vague synopses. What makes your plot different from all the others out there? What is specific about these characters that will make us want to hear their story? Betty-Sue goes on an emotional journey of self-discovery and learns what family means to her.
Good writing is so much about Showing vs. Show them that you can write—and with style. It feels stilted and awkward. Your passion and excitement will come through in your synopsis. It gives away the ending. I usually work with my clients on multiple versions of their query letters before we consider them ready.
Bio Paragraph What you include here should be as relevant as possible. If you have relevant publishing credits, list them. Your day job may or may not be relevant. Why else would you be subjecting yourself to this query torture? That takes guts and determination and dedication and lots of hard work.
Email Signature A neat, concise email signature—with your name and contact details and a link to online presence, such as a website or blog—looks professional. And Finally… Proofread it! Check for grammatical and spelling errors. Then have someone else proof it for you.
If you have used clipart or fancy stationary either e-stationary or the paper kind get rid of it—simple and professional is best. And then proofread it again. Remember, this letter is your introduction as a writer, so errors in the query are unlikely to go down well.
The process of concocting a query is not nearly as difficult when you know the right formula. An atrophied manuscript is far, far worse than a rejection. You may also like:of a Query Letter, that might explain how one little page of writing can tell an agent or editor a lot about your writing ability.
After you have that query letter finished, the bad new is, you've gotta do a synopsis. It is hard to write a good query letter, especially when you’re starting out. I don’t know anyone who really likes writing queries, and most agree: the process—especially writing the short synopsis—can be confusing and daunting.
First things first, the query letter. My main Writing a Query Letter page covers a lot of the basics, including articles and books to help. For me a sample is often a lot of help, so I've put together a number of Sample Query Letters from some published authors.
Reading over these samples can be a big help. Query Letter vs Synopsis – What’s the difference between a query letter and a synopsis?This article explains and shows you how to write a book synopsis. It’s part of our free part guidelines on How to Write a Query Letter by Mark Malatesta, a former literary agent and former Marketing & Licensing Manager of a well-known book publisher.5/5(10).
Query Letter - A former literary agent and former AAR member reveals how to write an agent query that gets top literary agents reading your book. Query Letter and Synopsis Critiques. Your ability to take what I sent you and turn it in to a quality query letter is simply amazing.
I think writing a query is in many ways more challenging than writing the novel itself. Stephen Terrell.