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.
- Spell the agent’s name correctly and make sure he is interested in your genre. MSWL is a good site to check.
- State the title and word count.
- Mention why you are contacting the agent.
- Be professional and keep the query to one page only, double-spaced.
- Give your contact info: phone number, address, email.
- Don’t mention that you found the agent on a database or writing guide.
- Do not say your novel is fiction!
- Do not claim that your book is better than others.
- Do not apologize for being a novice writer or for being unpublished.
- In your closing thank the agent for her time.
- 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.
- 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.