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.
How to Write a Query Letter Query letters? Do literary agents really read them? Agents take queries very seriously, and yes, they really do read them. Sure, agents make it sound like digging through the slush pile is the last priority of their day. Some agents even relegate the ambivalent task of reading unsolicited queries to an assistant or intern.
But the fact of the matter is that most agents do read queries. Even more importantly, agents actually respond to ones that spark their interest. Query Letter Basics A query letter is a single page cover letter, introducing you and your book.
Nothing more, nothing less. And for the love of god, it is NOT more than one-page. Trust us on this. A query letter has three concise paragraphs: A query letter is meant to elicit an invitation to send sample chapters or even the whole manuscript to the agent. Stick to three paragraphs.
The goal is to get the agent to read your book, not to blow you off because you screwed up the introduction.
A hook is a concise, one-sentence tagline for your book. The best way to understand how to write a hook is to read the loglines of the titles sold by agents in our free searchable AQ database. Here are a few examples of hooks for well-known novels: House of Sand and Fog When Massoud Amir Behrani, a former colonel in the Iranian military, sinks his remaining funds into a house he buys at auction, he unwittingly puts himself and his family on a trajectory to disaster; the house once belonged to Kathy Nicolo, a self-destructive alcoholic, who engages in legal, then personal confrontation to get it back.
The Corrections When family patriarch, Alfred Lambert, enters his final decline, his wife and three adult children must face the failures, secrets, and long-buried hurts that haunt them as a family if they are to make the corrections that each desperately needs. Write your basic hook, then try spicing things up as you get more and more into the groove of "hooking.
Be sure to check out these very simple, yet very non-"formulatic" fiction hooks: The Kite Runner An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities of the present.
The Da Vinci Code A murder in the silent after-hour halls of the Louvre museum reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected by a clandestine society since the days of Christ.
Everything Is Illuminated With only a yellowing photograph in hand, Jonathan Safran Foer—both author and meta fictional protagonist—sets out to find the woman who might or might not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis.
Here are some non-"formulatic" hooks for a few nonfiction books: Into Thin Air On assignment for Outside Magazine to report on the growing commercialization of the mountain, Krakauer, an accomplished climber, went to the Himalayas as a client of Rob Hall, the most respected high-altitude guide in the world, and barely made it back alive from the deadliest season in the history of Everest.
The Perfect Storm The true story of the meteorological conditions that created the "Storm of the Century" and the impact the Perfect Storm had on many of the people caught in its path; chiefly, among these are the six crew members of the swordfish boat the Andrea Gail, all of whom were lost miles from home beneath rolling seas.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius The memoir of Dave Eggers, who at the age of 22, became both an orphan and a "single mother" when his parents died within five months of one another of unrelated cancers, leaving Eggers the appointed unofficial guardian of his 8-year-old brother, Christopher.
Give era and location: Set in modern-day Jerusalem During the summer of in a rural Texas town Taking place in turn-of-the-century New York City Set up your main character: A chatty cozy mystery starring something college professor Bell Barrett Variations on the "when" formula: Following a botched circumcision While defending a drug-addicted prostitute accused of murder After years of abuse at the hands of her alcoholic mother and step-fatherUse the information on this website to write your query letter so literary agents will read your book.
After all, that’s the only thing any talented author needs–the right person at a literary agency and publishing house to actually read their work. Click here now for instant access to my free How to Write a Query Letter training. Learn how to write a query letter successfully with this expert advice.
A great query letter is your key to unlocking an executive's door. This will demonstrate to the industry professional that you're not savvy and your query will mostly likely be thrown out. Query Letters: Writing Successful Loglines, Query Letters, and One-Sheets. FreelanceWriting. Established Since Toggle search.
by Freelance Writing. Before you ever send a query letter to an editor, you need to first READ the magazine.
A Creative Writer's Secret for a Professional Query Letter. by Freelance Writing. Editors know what they are looking for in a query letter.
This guide follows the teaching. A query letter is a one-page letter sent to literary agents in an effort to get them excited about your book.
You have one page and words (or less) to woo a literary agent into falling in love with your story and then requesting your manuscript. A query letter is a one-page letter sent to literary agents in an effort to get them excited about your book. You have one page and words (or less) to woo a literary agent into falling in love with your story and then requesting your manuscript.
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, .