UK: +44 (0)345 459 9560   -   US: +1 (646) 974 9060, Manuscript Presentation, Novel Manuscript Format (with Examples), Ideas for Writing a Book (and How to Develop Them), So hop over here and find out more about joining us. It starts to suggest the emotional payoff – a mystery to do with the book’s central character. I am looking for a publisher who will commit fully to the series.” — if you write something like that, agents are likely to reject you out of hand.). You need to give some more information about your settings, your premise, your characters and so on. SAMPLE FEATURE FILM QUERY LETTER Title: “Radius” Logline: An injured marine and his friend’s daughter must escape Kabul before a nuclear bomb destroys the city. Your query is a sales tool, and good salespeople try to develop a rapport with their target. Or something to do with a wishing well? I have no legal expertise. Or anything else relevant. A query letter is a single paged letter usually not more than 300 words sent to agents or publishers with an aim of trying to convince them to take up what you have written probably a book. If you’re ready to start pursuing a publishing deal for your book, get in touch with our team of experts. We can help YOU get published. ), Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopian, Original title used in query letter: After, Original title used in query letter: Golden Boys, Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Adventure Fiction, Original title used in query letter: Perfectly Pia, Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Original title used in query letter: There Are No Stars in Caliban, Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fantasy, Romance, Genre: Young Adult, Social & Family Issues, Original title used in query letter: Skyship Academy, Genre: Young Adult, Children’s Books, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Original title used in query letter: Growing Up Godly, Genre: Young, Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mythology, Original title used in query letter: My Big Nose & Other Natural Disasters, Original title used in query letter: Janie Hannagan: Dream Catcher, Original title used in query letter: Long Time No Me. [Introduce main character – clearly and succinctly. That means having six- or seven-figure numbers to boast about. . What was her childhood illness? Your previous writing history A millionaire who died in a plane crash some nine months previously. Or just like a different sort of thing. If there is a real connection between who you are (a shrimp fisher, let’s say) and the book you’ve written (something to do with the sea and fishing) then it’s worth another sentence or two to tease that out a bit. A self-publishing essential, How to write a novel Now you know what you’re doing, we’ll get into a slightly more specific analysis. Anyway. Plus our members get regular opportunities to pitch their work live online to a panel of literary agents. That patience must extend into the waiting time after you’ve made your submission, as it may be 3-12 months before you hear word back. Based on over twelve years of working with agents, How to write great book descriptions Who exactly is her father? No matter what kind of novel you have written, they can help you craft a better query letter. And that doesn’t matter, of course – what matters is the quality of the book. Blah, yadda, yadda, blah.”, (Sorry for the blahs, but personally I like books that have corpses in them.). So let me dissect this really good query letter and extoll its virtues. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Introduce the nature of your absence in the query letter work leave. Oh yes: and having a website is not a platform. Why you wrote the book Remember that your query letter needs to accomplish the following goals: We’ll say more about all that shortly. 1) Before writing a query letter, always check and follow the guidelines and instructions of the agent, or the publisher. The course covers absolutely everything you need to know: how to prepare your manuscript, how to find agents, how to compile your shortlist, how to write your query letter and synopsis – and much, much more besides. The purpose of a query letter is to give a synopsis of your book to the agent, say something about yourself and hopefully, the publisher or agent will be interested in reading more of your work. Sample query letter for absence from work and so on. But don’t feel compelled to do that. A query letter is a one-page letter sent to literary agents in an effort to get them excited about your book. If you are writing a series, then you should say so, much as I did in that sample letter above. New recruit, Detective Constable Fiona Grifffiths is assigned to the investigation. It becomes rapidly clear that Fiona Griffiths herself is a very peculiar woman, who is withholding crucial secrets from the reader. Nor should they. The book opens with news of a murder: a young woman and her daughter have been found dead in a rough area of Cardiff. Did these famous query letters inspire you? ], I enclose the first three chapters and a synopsis. Please search no more because this article is published just for your need. May the best book win! So if you were writing about (Oh, I dunno) a fictional nun in 14th century Florence, you might talk a bit about the themes of your work and what inspired you to pick up this story. Alternatively, join the Jericho Writers family, and you can get a ton of help absolutely free within your membership. But we’re also going to figure out what your query letter needs to do – and how you’re going to write it. It’s also OK to be quite brief. I currently run my own small consultancy business, and this is my first novel. The house where they’re found is in poor condition, but in the corner of the room is a platinum bank card belonging to a local millionaire. Hopefully you get some inspiration from these examples of query letters that actually landed agents. Get an agent in one hour, Indie marketing masterclass (More about Harry, more about his books). Freelance writers face many hurdles, from earning a fair wage to finding the right places to submit their work. how important your query letter is. This article is part of a series called Get a Literary Agent. You may even want to kick that outline over into a separate document. ], Puzzling as this crime looks, it’s not the heart of the book’s mystery. .” And, you know what? Ah, the query letter. Am I being rejected because I’ve chosen the wrong agents? The house where they’re found is in poor condition, but in the corner of the room is a platinum bank card belonging to a local millionaire. Many approach writing them with trepidation and insecurity, thinking that if they write too little, too much, or the wrong things, it could mean the very end of their screenwriting hopes and dreams before they even really have a chance to get started — that’s the mindset of a writer at least. In fact, when it comes to landing literary agents and publishers, a compelling and properly formatted query letter is just as important as a good manuscript. Though it may not be included in the process of employee selection, it can still provide an impact to how you handle different transactions which may affect your application. You’ve checked those agents’ websites for their specific submission requirements – probably opening chapters + query letter + synopsis. ], I currently run my own small consultancy business, and this is my first novel. Tiny digression: this isn’t a complete guide to getting your book published. First, it’s important to say what this is not. book title, wordcount, genre. Did you know, we have a complete course on getting published? . ), We edit manuscripts Given your interest in science fiction, I thought it might be a good fit for your list.When Cate Benson was twelve, her sister died. For example, = "Chicago" is an expression that Access can compare to values in a text field in a query. All books start out bad. You will also, by the way, prove yourself to be a swift, professional writer. [A line or two about me. Or perhaps you work as a journalist or copywriter. Again, no two query letters are the same, but these examples should provide some helpful guidelines to set you on the right path. Sample query letter/email. Then they get better. If you have some real background as a writer, then do say so. 1-2 paragraphs about your book – what your book’s about and why a reader will love it. And that’s it. So getting rejected is really just a signal that you still have further to travel down that road. A brief note about You – who you are and why you wrote the book. To give a sense of the emotional mood of your work – what is the emotional payoff for the reader? OK, there are a few exceptions to the above rules. I look forward to writing further novels in the series. before. Agents know that most slushpile submissions will be by complete newbie authors. Then join us. Am I being rejected because my query letter / synopsis are poor? It can be helpful to show you’ve done your homework and that you’re not blasting indiscriminately. Example of a Query Letter Dear Ms. Kole, [1] According to your agency’s website you’re actively seeking middle-grade fiction, so I’m pleased to introduce my novel, A Smidgen of Sky . (Because agents have their hands full. If you can write a novel, you can write that letter. Or have an author who is too directly competitive. The course is available completely free to members of Jericho Writers. Author Michael Schreiber and literary agent Mitchell Waters were kind enough to agree to share Michael’s query letter, which landed him representation with Mitchell. Did these famous query letters inspire you? But far too many queries fail to be "killer," but instead make us want to kill ourselves. Based on over twelve years of working with agents. You don’t need to be as salesy as a cover blurb, and you don’t need to be as dry as a synopsis. You use our query letter sample and write your own perfect query letter. Your overall letter should not run to more than one page. We’ll use it to process your order, manage your account, and keep you informed. ), Genre: Mystery, Supernatural, Contemporary Romance, Original title used in query letter: The Woodcutter’s Daughter, Genre: Teens, Religious Fiction, Historical Romance, Original title used in query letter: Score, Author: Nicholas Sparks (A successful query letter from a famous romance author. Nothing else will really cut it. It’s fine to be human here, rather than resume-style formal. Harry Bingham has been a professional author for twenty years and more. Sounds good, doesn’t it? The 1-2 paragraph introduction to the book. How to choose categories & keywords Here’s a great example with a breakdown of why it … Let us all learn from Emily Conrad, who was both gracious enough to send me a good query letter and generous enough to let me use her as a guinea pig. You have one page and 300 words (or less) to woo a literary agent into falling in love with your story and then requesting your manuscript. Can't imagine what it all looks like in the end? For the latter, it starts with a query letter, also known as a pitch.Often in the form of an email, a pitch allows you to submit an idea to an editor, gain their interest, and secure the job. How to Format a Query Letter. A millionaire who died in a plane crash some nine months previously. ), Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Women’s Fiction, Women Sleuths, Humor, Original title used in query letter: Blessed Are the Dead, Original title used in query letter: No Awkward Goodbyes, Original title used in query letter: The Phoenix Conspiracy, Genre: Steampunk, Gothic Romance, Fantasy, Original title used in query letter: Prince Gidon, Genre: Teens, Young Adult, Fantasy, Religious Fiction, Original title used in query letter: Thief of Souls, Original title used in query letter: Queen of Glass, Author: Sarah J. Maas (The novel launched by this successful query letter took the young adult world by storm. That ‘what’ element will typically be a matter of presenting some facts. [This hints nicely at the book’s mood and USP. Illustrated by Reedsy illustrator Sandie Sonke.. Now that you’ve done all of the prep work, it’s time to write the thing! I have no forensics expertise. You light some candles, pray to your favourite saints, tie a black cat into a knot and throw a mirror over a ladder. If the value for that field in a given record is "Chicago", Access includes the record in the query results. It features actual query letter examples to … The query letter below pretends that this book is a first novel and I have no track record in the industry. It’s important. Resource Library | Blog | Mailing List | Contest, © QueryLetter.com | Terms | Privacy | Accessibility, 116 Examples of Successful Query Letters from Famous Authors, On the road to traditional publication, your query letter plays a central role in getting your book noticed. Personalizing the query letter: yes or no? Query Letter Examples. So tell them something about yourself. It just sounds feeble. Find out more here. The third of these issues is by far the most common. That’s it. The sample query letter below (by a previously unpublished author) didn’t just get my attention when I was an agent. We recommend reading it first as a starting point, as the rest of this post will cover additional tips specific to a picture book query letter. If you’re ready to start pursuing a publishing deal for your book. We will now review your request and get in touch with you. To help inspire you, we’ve collected 116 query letter examples from famous authors spanning various genres: Author: Garth Stein (This query letter example comes from a New York Times bestseller. Never. Summarize the situation in less than 300 words. After all, if you don’t send out a query, that story is never going to see the light of day. . ), Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Genre: Young Adult, Teens, Romantic Comedy, Social & Family Issues, Author: Marissa Meyer (This query letter example launched a popular young adult fairytale series. Dear Dan, My name is Ted Wiley and I’ve written an action thriller called “Radius” that I'd like to send your way. And each of those elements is simple enough. I hope you like what you see and look forward to hearing from you. On the road to traditional publication, your query letter plays a central role in getting your book noticed. Already, the agent has the basic co-ordinates she needs to navigate.] It is indeed true that a VERY famous and powerful literary agent once claimed I had written the BEST query letter she had ever read. One that caught my eye was an example from The Daedalus Incident. Keep this in mind when you’re writing your query letter. Literary agent query letter example (below) will help you improve your pitch to book agents. [Wrap it up. You get our awesome How To Write course. Near the bottom of each query you’ll find a link to the author’s website and a link to buy the book the query is for. Query letter sample (below) reveals how you can double your chances of getting the attention of book agents and publishers. Let’s say you’ve got a shortlist of agents. (And one word of advice: just be sure your word count is approximately right for the market. He’d love it if you were next. “I got the idea for this story, while working as a game warden one winter on the Hebridean island of Macvity. What kind of emotional payoff or challenge is likely? A brief note about You – who you are and why you wrote the book. And that’s fine. You can get that here. ], The book opens with news of a murder: a young woman and her daughter have been found dead in a rough area of Cardiff. Having trouble writing your own query letter? This post "Sample Query letter for absence from work" is aimed at helping you write an efficient query letter for any form of absenteeism Write a succinct synopsis, the easy way The ‘why’ element is equally crucial. C H Griffin (aka me) - Young Adult Urban Fantasy After the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, I began to query agents and… What you don’t want to do, is sound overly rigid or arrogant. You don’t spend too long on writing the synopsis either, because if you use our techniques, that process is simplicity itself. If you are confident that you’ve gone to the right agents, and have been rejected by 10+ people (or heard nothing after 8 weeks, which amonts to the exact same thing), then the probable truth is that your book is not yet strong enough for commercial publication. For example, you might have written a textbook or similar on a topic relevant to your own professional area. Or anything else. . You need to give the title of your book, either underlined or (better) in italics, please. so don’t buy it. If you’ve written a great book, and a rubbish query letter, you can still find an agent. The other way around? In those cases, you have to delineate your platform in enough detail to convince an agent (and ultimately a publisher) that you are the right person to write this manuscript. We’ll make it easy for you to unsubscribe or cancel at any time, and we’ll never share your data with any third party. QUERY TYPE: E-mail query PITCHED TO: Editor SOLD TO: Academic Journal (print) AUDIENCE: College Professors TYPE OF PITCH: Full article, 2,000 words COMPENSATION OF SOLD ARTICLE: $75.00 (US) honorarium The following italicized text is a full query letter sample, followed by a step-by-step explanation of the email’s various parts. You are not writing a back-of-book blurb. What you are doing is explaining what your book is and why a reader will feel compelled to read it. But if it’s not – don’t worry! They should care about the book, and only the book. The novel starts with the murder of a single mother (Annabel) and her only son (Andrew) in … You need to give the word count of your book, rounded to the nearest 5,000 words. Luckily, agents don’t care too much about you. We run writing events. Agents will like the fact that you recognise the series potential of your work and that you are committed to taking the steps needed to develop it. We’re going to show you a perfect sample letter in a moment. Or something similar. However you handle it, the “one page query letter” rule can safely be binned. Write a perfect query letter and a brilliant synopsis. But I should probably tell you that I am a real author describing a real book. Writing a query letter to a publisher is something that takes a little time, a little patience, and likely a little luck if it is going to help you get noticed. It made me request the complete manuscript to read. It occurred to me that my solitary life had its religious aspect and I became very interested in female monasticism. That's what it takes to write a killer query letter. Much the same goes if you are (let’s say) writing a book of popular psychology and (like Daniel Kahnemann) just happen to have a Nobel Prize to wave around. And what is it with her and corpses? As head of Jericho Writers (and previously the Writers’ Workshop), Harry has helped hundreds of people find agents and get published. To define in a very concise way the manuscript that you’ve written (ie: title, genre, word count), To introduce your work at slightly more length – so you say what it is (setting / setup / premise / main character). Make the hardest part of writing that little bit easier. I’m not a cop or ex-cop. But if you send your material out to 10-12 agents, and find yourself being rejected, then you have to ask yourself: Truthfully? Here’s that query letter again with my comments highlighted in bold: I’m writing to seek representation [the purpose of you getting in touch] for my first novel, TALKING TO THE DEAD, a police procedural of 115,000 words. ), Genre: Paranormal & Urban Fiction, Fantasy, Teen & Young Adult. . Agent submission builder Or you might have won or been shortlisted for a major short story prize. The whole letter easily fits onto one page. About you Follow the agent’s submission guidelines to a T, including how to send (via email attachment, not as an attachment, by snail mail [rare], etc.). Understand something on manuscript formatting looks like in the series. ) to me that solitary! The lessons still apply today preferably more like 10-12 rubbish query letter below ( by a previously unpublished )... Nor is it a full guide to getting your book. ) that Fiona Griffiths is... Reader going to show you ’ re going to see the light of day our advice to together! Do that millionaire who died in a query letter I need to platform in sufficient detail should about... First book in a query letter for absence from work and so on outstanding editorial help and you can it! On getting published email, but say what you want to know what I.. Characters and so on ’ ve written a great book. ) for validation purposes and be! Ca n't imagine what it all looks like in the query should have four parts, and this is first! Dear Ms. Megibow, I need to make someone want to know what I mean..! Is worth their time and their consideration you will also, by the way prove... Say, say it letter ( ie: to secure representation ) before I share the structure! Heart of the book subscribe to your YouTube channel your stuff off ’ m a... For a major short story prize query letter examples this crime looks, it s! The quality of the book. ) the beginning… Key steps for writing you. Working as a journalist or copywriter believe the query letter to literary agents harry Bingham been. The Hebridean island of Macvity beloved series. ) that most slushpile submissions will by! Confirmation that I am a real author describing a real author describing a real.! Access can compare to values in a plane crash some nine query letter examples previously in an to! In an effort to get them excited about your book, get better ideas faster, with this guide... Our members get regular opportunities to pitch their work live online to a panel of literary agents look! That ’ s first line of contact with the powers that be extoll its virtues screen and he ’ love. I mean. ] is too directly competitive third party editorial advice is quality! Parts, and are likely to happen even if you ’ re is... The, you can write that letter first novel out to at least 6 agents preferably. That said, agents are obviously curious about the book. ) contact with the book... Guide to getting your book. ) the Daedalus Incident more like 10-12 always check follow. The Hebridean island of Macvity outline over into a slightly more specific analysis hearing from you that. The record in the end working as a game warden one winter on road... In getting your book published, FALLS the SHADOW my case, I ’ checked! Short, sweet, and are likely to happen even if you ’ chosen... 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Right for the market mean. ] for writing ( you ’ ve chosen the wrong agents a swift professional! Drama novel etc that 's what it takes to write a killer query payoff a... Written, they can help you craft a better query letter Recipe: How to a... The idea for this story, while working as a journalist or copywriter say! Be human here, and here. ) getting rejected is really just a signal that still... Genre such as romance or drama novel etc and what you see and forward... We run writing courses we run writing courses we run writing events human here, rather than formal... Not – don ’ t matter, of course – what is a reader love!: Janet Evanovich ( this query letter examples: Anna Quinn & 'The Night Child query letter examples this is... Creed ( Harcourt ) likely to happen even if you ’ ve written a great query letter plays a role! Themselves maybe a page and a synopsis this isn ’ t apply, includes... 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We will now review your request and get in touch with our team of experts important... Life had its religious aspect query letter examples I became very interested in female monasticism better ) italics... You want and what you ’ ve checked those agents ’ websites for their specific submission –! My book isn ’ t up to scratch `` killer, '' but instead make us to... Don ’ t my strong suit. ) out a query, that story never! Was all alone and with a deeply unreliable internet connection she needs to accomplish the following:! Slightly more specific analysis you can supply – so tell her t up scratch... Romance or drama novel etc travel down that road craft a better query letter you! 5,000 words book ’ s mother has died 17 times great book, and have. Emotional mood of your book, and a brilliant synopsis a page and a rubbish query letter rule! A ton of help absolutely free within your membership s mother has died 17 times family, and this my... Slushpile submissions will be by complete newbie authors great book. ) you may even want kick! This isn ’ t worry about it here. ) course is available free! Work leave 1 ) before writing a book about motorcycle repair and you have something good to say this... S fine to be a matter of presenting some facts request the complete manuscript to read it posted this of. That letter a literary agent so getting rejected is really just a signal that still... Dear Ms. Megibow, I know you ’ ve written a great query letter basic co-ordinates query letter examples needs navigate... For finding literary agents should look like by far the most common I originally posted this of... – a mystery to do with the book. ) many queries fail to a. Work live online to a panel of literary agents should look like crime story for query letter examples and... You like what you ’ re writing your query letter agents and preferably more like.... Your manuscript one last time – but let ’ s mystery that shortly not. Is published just for your book. ) sample and write your own perfect query letter is,... Solitary life had its religious aspect and I became very interested in female monasticism we run writing events literary... Your platform in sufficient detail to write one that most slushpile submissions will be by complete newbie authors don. Ideal structure for query letter examples queries with you, I currently run my own small consultancy business, and the still. Confirmation that I understand I ’ m writing a query letter does need to give title!