A Query Letters VERY Important Job
You've finished your first fiction novel and now it's time to dazzle prospective publishers. The reality is publishers receive thousands of queries. So, the BIG question is...how do you get noticed?
The answer is...you write a rock'n query letter. The good news is there is a formula. To help you put together a brief one page letter that sells your book, please find below a query letter template. This template may also be used for querying agents.
Your letter should be personalized. NEVER, EVER address your letter 'To Whom it May Concern.' Do your homework and find out the publisher's name and address it to them.
2. Into & The Hook
Start your letter with a bang. Give the publisher a one line 'hook' that summarizes your story. Think...protagonist, conflict and the 'sizzle' factor. This paragraph, should also include the book's title, genre and word count.
3. The Synopsis
Now, it's time to expand upon the 'hook.' It's your opportunity to further reel the publisher in with a fine-tuned pitch (200 words max). Discuss the main character(s), what happens and leave the publisher with a cliffhanger so they are left wanting more.
It's not easy to summarize a 70,000 word novel in a paragraph. Think about what you would want written on the back cover of your novel...
The purpose of this paragraph is to demonstrate why you are the best person to write this novel. What are your writing credentials? Perhaps, you have a degree in creative writing, a writing contest award(s) or you've had some articles published in the local newspaper.
Not to worry if you've never been published; be sure to mention any information that is relevant to writing. For example, you're a master gardener and your novel's protagonist is a crime solving gardener.
Much like your salutation, your closing should demonstrate that you've done your research and this is not some random query that 75 publishers are receiving simultaneously. Tell the publisher why you are querying them/why they are a good fit for your work.
If your manuscript has been professionally edited (highly recommend that it has been) mention it because a professionally edited manuscript is in your favour.
Lastly, thank the publisher for their time and consideration.
Because publishing company is ‘interested in ensuring that the voices of disenfranchised and marginalized women are heard,’ my manuscript will be of interest to you. My manuscript has been professionally edited. Thank you for your time and for considering my query.
Activist, World traveller. Fan of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.