Query Writing Tips

Go online and you’ll find many sites offering tips for writing query letters. I have compressed some accepted “Dos and Don’ts” for you.

Dos:

  1. Spell the agent’s name correctly and make sure he is interested in your genre. MSWL is a good site to check.
  2. State the title and word count.
  3. Mention why you are contacting the agent.
  4. Be professional and keep the query to one page only, double-spaced.
  5. Give your contact info: phone number, address, email.

Don’ts:

  1. Don’t mention that you found the agent on a database or writing guide.
  2. Do not say your novel is fiction!
  3. Do not claim that your book is better than others.
  4. Do not apologize for being a novice writer or for being unpublished.
  5. In your closing thank the agent for her time.
  6. Don’t query until you have completed the fiction manuscript or if it’s a nonfiction piece, you have an outline, table of contents and sample chapters.
  7. Visit the agent’s website to see what they like included with a query. Sometimes they only want ten pages, sometimes three chapters. Abide by submission rules.

Your task is to write a query letter for a piece you are ready to submit.

Have fun with this one.

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