Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! Guest Column March 21, One of the easiest ways to learn what makes a good, standard query letter is simply to see an example of one that does its job well. If you write fiction or narrative nonfiction, a query letter is your first and often, your only chance to get an agent interested in reading and, with hope, signing your work. You should put just as much care and attention into crafting and polishing your query as you did into your manuscript.
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.Others have advised writing the query letter like a book review, but that feels too self-promoting to me.
By the way, I noticed your sample letter didn’t address the age range of the target audience. When writing a query letter for a picture book you will basically have three main paragraphs, plus your sign-off. Intro Make sure you specifically address the agent you are querying (use Mr.
or Ms. [last name]). Yes, a query should be a professional business letter, but honestly, writing a query in the same manner as a regular cover letter is a recipe for snoozeville. A great query should not only tell an agent what your book is about, but it should also match your book's .
Jodell Sadler l Sadler Literary. Thank you for sharing your work with me! I am currently looking to for AUTHOR-ILLUSTRATORS of picture books, middle grade projects and graphic novels and nonfiction. This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book.
The digit and digit formats both work. Are you new to freelance writing or perhaps having trouble selling your work to editors? Today’s tip of the day can help. Kelly James Enger, author of Writer For Hire, explains the importance of writing a query letter and gives an example of one.
When you think successful freelancer, what skill.