Thursday, July 31, 2008

To Query To Query, Jiggidy Jig

Query letters and what they should hold are an eternal discussion within groups of writers. And well they should be as they may spell the success or failure of your novel.

Here are five things to remember about your query letter :

1. Start off with a hook in the first paragraph, but don’t ask a question as that sometimes annoys an agent.
2. Have your letter body only be about three paragraphs -keep it short and simple (KISS)
3. Use concise wording- agents have very little time and want you to get to the point
4. Don’t waste space and their time by telling them how great the book is or how great you are, let them find out for themselves
5. Present the query in the most professional manner possible, after all this is a business letter- find out the proper person to send it to, and address it to them. Dear agent is not acceptable.

Maybe some of our published authors on MB4 will find time to share what has worked and not worked for them as they queried their books. It’s helpful to know what an agent is looking for before subbing, so try some sites like for getting all your facts straight.

Information that may help you:

Google is your friend. Use it to find out info about your dream agent. There are a lot of scams out there, so be wise.
Make sure the agent you’re subbing to handles your particular brand of work. Not a good idea to send a non-fiction book to an agent who doesn’t represent it. Not entirely bad, as they may make mention of someone they know of who might be interested, but as a general rule, don’t do this.
Double-check spelling and punctuation for your query letter. Nothing like making a good impression on the simple stuff and you would be amazed at how many people submit queries with misspelled words.
Remember that agents receive hundreds of subs a day. Rise to the top of the pile by doing everything you can to make yours better than the next one.


Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Great minds think alike, Kim! I was just pondering doing an article on query letters! LOL. Excellent points, and thanks!

Marta Stephens said...

Here are some agent and query letters related links writers will find useful:

Preditor & Editors -- watch dog site

Association of Author’s Representative (AAR)

More how-to and sample letters