How To Write A Query Letter
We’ve worked with many creative writers over the years to perfect their query letters—whether we’re helping to improve on an existing query or putting our heads together and starting from scratch. We’ve helped many writers learn to pitch literary agents via queries! Our query letter tool kit is your secret weapon! You can also check out our Ultimate Guide To Cover and Query Letters e-book!
We sincerely hope the free articles below will make your life a bit easier when it comes time to approach literary agents with your query. Good luck! (Oh—and if you want our help, you know where to find us!)
- What Is A Cover Letter Or A Query Letter? Don’t know where to start? Yes, you do. Right here!
- The Query Letter: What To Include In A Letter To Literary Agents. This is an anatomy lesson in query letters. Break out the rubber gloves and learn the parts of a query letter.
- Top Query Letter Mistakes: Avoid These Amateur Errors. Our Review Board reads many submissions. And we see the same mistakes again and again. This article is highly recommended.
- Query Fail: How NOT To Write A Query Letter. If you want your pitch to stick out in a good way, read this example of a query letter gone terribly wrong.
- Striking The Right Tone. Worried about how to sell yourself? Will you go for bells and whistles? Or quiet and understated? Learn how to sound confident but not bombastic.
- Pseudonyms: Using A Pen Name In Query Letters. It’s one thing to use a pen name when you’re interacting with your adoring fanbase. But if you sign with your pen name…well…that’s a different story.
- The Query Letter—From a Marketing Standpoint. Much as we want a query letter to be about presenting the facts of a novel or book, it’s really a kind of advertisement.
- A Checklist For Writers. A simple checklist that will help you see if you’re on the right track with your query.
- How To Write A Query Letter For A Short Story Collection. This article isn’t just a query letter primer; it’s a discussion of the larger issues that surround short story collections.
Writing A Blurb Or Mini-Synopsis For Your Book
- How To Write A Killer Book Blurb For Your Query Letter: What Literary Agents Want To See. A simple list that will teach you how to write the mini-synopsis for your query.
- Query Letter Synopsis: Maximize Your Main Conflict. Advanced blurb writing. Are you focusing on your main conflict? Which plot points belong in a blurb? Which don’t?
- Five Strategies For A More Evocative Query Letter Blurb. Strategies to help capture agents’ attention through your query letter blurb.
- 5 Common Synopsis Mistakes That Fiction Writers Make. Don’t make these five common errors when writing the synopsis for your novel!
Writing A Bio That Shines
- Your Query Letter Bio: Listing (Or Skipping) Your Publication Credits. Thinking you’ll mention in a query that you’ve already written the first fifteen books in your series? Read this first.
- How To Build Up Your Writing Bio Super Fast. We’ve all been there. At some point, everybody has NO publishing credits. Here are some things you can do to help your cause while you wait for publishing credits to roll in.
- Tips For Your Professional Writing Bio. Author biography basics.
- Doing The Publishing Credits Shuffle. Wondering how you should order your publishing credits? What a great problem you have! Read this.
- When (Not) To Include Your Self-Published Book In Your Query Letter Bio. We love self-published books and authors. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether your self-published book is worth mentioning in your author bio.
You Wrote A Query Letter; What Next?
- How To Research The Best Literary Agents For Your Book. You’ve got the letter, now find the agent.
- How To Interpret Submission Guidelines. Simultaneous submissions? Multiple submissions? Exclusives? This may clear up some confusion.
- How To Address A Literary Agent Or Editor In A Letter When You Don’t Know The Gender. Don’t assume “Alex” is a boy. And avoid “Dear Sirs” (there are women who work in the publishing industry. Plus, it’s no longer 1985). Before you write your salutation, know the new etiquette.
- How To Resubmit Novels or Nonfiction Books To Literary Agents. Ready to resubmit the book that you’ve been revising after so many “near misses”? Here’s how.
- When And How To Follow Up With (Or Nudge) A Literary Agent About Your Book Query. Let’s face it: Publishing can be a waiting game. But there are instances when you’ll want to take an active approach. Use our tips to avoid stepping on toes.
- Online Writing Submissions: Mistakes Writers Make Submitting To Literary Agents And Editors. If you’re submitting your work online, avoid these common errors.
- E-Queries: How To Submit Online To Agents And Editors. Sending an e-query is no excuse to be sloppy. So know the rules.
- How To Interpret Rejection Letters From Literary Agents And Editors. If you’re sending out queries, you’re probably getting rejections. Here’s how to interpret the language of generic and personal rejection letters.
A Couple More Links We Like
Another query letter article with sound advice
Please bear in mind that knowing how to write a good query letter is only one tiny piece of making a successful connection with a literary agent. You’ll also need do a lot of research to find the agents who are appropriate for your query (and eliminate those who aren’t appropriate). And, of course, the strength, originality, and marketability of your book will be a major contributing factor to your success. If you would like to submit your book for consideration at Writer’s Relief, view our submission guidelines.
And remember to check out our Ultimate Guide To Cover and Query Letters e-book!
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