Jill Corcoron is sharing her information about writing a query letter with us.
A query letter is a BUSINESS LETTER.
The PURPOSE is to entice an agent to request your full manuscript.
If you can, show your personality and the personality of your ms in the query letter.
- Send your query ONLY to agents who represent what you write.
- DO NOT query on a book that is not complete.
Dear Mr./Ms. (name one agent! spell their name correctly.)
There are 2 schools of thought on how to write the 1st paragraph:
1-Some agents want you to jump right into the synopsis of your story.
2- I, along with many other agents, prefer to know why you are querying me upfront. If you are querying this type of agent, in the first paragraph include short, precise and true reason(s) you are querying a particular agent. Research agents to not only find out if they are a good fit for you but also so you can tell them why you are querying them.
In the 2nd and possibly 3rd paragraph, write a short–3 to 10 sentence synopsis of your story.
Here is how:
The query synopsis is not a plot play-by-play. IT IS A SALES PIECE. The easiest way to get started is to imagine someone asks you…”What is your book about?”
In TITLE, X-year-old Main Character needs to (define problem) before (obstacles).
Now not all your stories will fit into this neat sentence.
All info upfront. Agents want to know:
-the title of your manuscript-
-if you are querying on a pb, cb, mg, ya, etc.,
-genre: is it a fantasy, contemporary, dystopian, romance, tear-jerker, etc,
-the age of your main character,
-what is the main character’s problem,
-and if important, the setting.