Monday, May 25, 2020

How to Write a Query Letter for Your Novel or Picture Book Manuscript

Since you're a writer, you want to get published, right? This step-by-step guide will help you know what to include in a query letter and where to put it.

This query letter template will help you craft the perfect letter to send to editors and agents. It’s purpose is to get them interested in your book and hopefully request either the first 10 pages, first 3 chapters, or the full manuscript. The query letter is 3-5 paragraphs, all on one page. Word count doesn’t matter, but the shorter the better. Don’t try to be cutesy and clever. Stick to the template and be professional, but be yourself too. Let your voice come through in your words. Modify the query to fit the person.

Paragraph 1

Tell the person why you are writing to them specifically, such as where or when you met the person or if you share a common interest. If it doesn’t apply or you can’t find a way to personalize your query letter, then you can omit this paragraph.

Paragraphs 2 and 3

In these 1-2 paragraphs, you talk about the book. This is where you will insert your pitch. You can add a little more about the characters, the theme, and a couple of comp titles. Make sure your voice shines through.

Paragraph 4

This is a very short paragraph about the genre, completed length of your manuscript (by word count, not pages), the setting and time period of the book. Remember, your manuscript must be finished. One to two sentences is all you need.

Paragraph 5

The last paragraph is where you can tell a little bit about yourself, if you have a platform, your history, why you are the person to write this book, etc., but remember to keep it short and relevant. Don’t say that your friends, family, neighbors, and students loved your story. You likely won’t hear back because that is considered unprofessional.

What have you heard about query letters to NOT do? Share in the comments and let me know! Share your comment here.

Outline Your Novel With a Simple Plot

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