Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Anonymouse33, Aug 27, 2010.
I've been reading over some posts, and I was wondering what exactly a query letter is.
A query letter is where you tell a literary agent about the story you have finished, giving them a general overview of the plot, the location and characters, etc and saying that you are submitting this for their consideration.
Do you send it with your story? Or send it out before hand?
A query letter can be sent to an agent or to a publisher. It begins with a request that the pblisher or agent consider your novel for publixhing. As Shinn said, it then provides a short summary (preferably less than a typewritten page) of the story, including the ending. Finally, if you have already publlished other novels in the same genre to paying markets, you can finish by listing publishing credits.
Query letters are primarily associated with book-length writing. Articles, short stories, and poems are more frequently submitted directly, although the query format is still usually appropriate in the main letter.
When listing publishing credits, only list works of the same or a related genre, in the same pay rate range as the marjet you are submitting to. Never list self-published work, or work published through a vanity press. If you have no relevant publication credits, it's best to not even mention prior work.
If you have other books in development, it's okay to mention that, but do NOT indicate you are planning a series. Publishers do want authors who are good for more than one book, but a series from an unknown writer is a big risk. Most new authors trying to push a series don't make each book stand alone, and leave too many incomplete story elements. Therefore, dropping the word "series" raises red flags.
For a book, never send more than a query letter as your first contact, unless the submission guidelines specifically state otherwise. Some publishers or agents will ask for the first three chapters, or about fifty pages, of your manuscript with the query, but most prefer only the query letter to begin with. It costs money to dispose of waste paper, and the majority of queries are rejected.
Oh. Yeah, I may to find someone to help me with that. While, I'm good with making a story itself.. I'm not great with promoting things. I'm not even sure where to begin on one. Is there some where I can find example letters to see what they're supposed to look like?
Googling "query letter" leads to MANY leads
I have had bookmarked for ages for when i need it. I'm sure it's okay for me to post this.
Thankyou so much!
That is truely an amazing link, thanks A LOT!
Not that i am in anyway ready for it yet but i am a firm believer in prep.
actually, the entire letter must be no longer than a single page, typed in times new roman 12 pt and single-spaced...
i have lots of tips from the pros on how to write effective queries that i'll be glad to forward to anyone who emails me... i also help new writers write their queries, if needed...
love and hugs, maia
When the time comes, I'll definitely contact you.
Separate names with a comma.