Updated: Feb 21
Professional book editor in the UK details the best way to write a query letter step-by-step!
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Many writers spend years perfecting their manuscripts to send to their dream literary agent, but while polishing one’s pride and joy is essential, just as much time and effort needs to go into the query letter – one of the two crucial documents most agents request alongside the synopsis and first three chapters.
However, after spending so much time learning and practising the craft of writing a novel, budding authors often forget, or never know, how to structure and write a quality query letter that will help them land them an exciting book deal.
In this article, you will learn how to structure the perfect query letter and what to write in each paragraph. Two Birds with One Stone by C. R. Terry will be used in each example to keep things clear and consistent.
Your query letter’s opening paragraph should be introductory – introducing yourself, informing the agent why you are writing, and mentioning the title of your book, the word count, genre, and target market.
For example, you could structure the first paragraph like the following:
I am writing to seek representation for my short story, Two Birds with One Stone, a mythological adventure that follows Athena and Aphrodite as they venture into the dangerous Labyrinth on a rescue mission. This tale is just over 5000 words and is aimed at young adults.
As you can see, the example above provides a powerful introduction and tells the agent why you have contacted them and what you have to offer.