Andrea Foster the BOOKLADY
Query Letter Tips
Personalize the address. Make sure everything, especially the agent’s name, is spelled correctly.
Know something about the agent or editor. Do your homework. Find out what they like, and see if you can gear your query letter in that way.
Mention if you have queried this person before.
Read some good and bad samples queries online or in writer’s books and magazines.
Have a great book or article title.
Have a great first line for your query.
Use your voice or the voice of the book’s subject. Be unique.
Have a good lone liner about the book, and use it.
Use the title, genre, and word count in first paragraph or one-liner about your piece.
Summarize your work clearly, hitting on main themes, especially those you know to be of interest to the agent or editor.
Do not give too much plot, too many character names, too many details. This is not Game of Thrones or even Dickens, even if, in the end, the book is!
If you do mention characters, mention the really intriguing or unique ones.
Mention comparable books.
Mention how yours is different.
Don’t tell them how wonderful your book is. If it’s wonderful, they will call you! This is not the time or place for hubris!
Give your short bio.
Include publicity concepts with which you have had personal experience. No, “I’m going to do this.” Instead, “I am a regular speaker at this event, place, club. I have been a featured radio guest in the NYC area.”
After reading your own query, ask yourself, pretending you are the agent/editor, “Do I want to know more?” (Or, am I a bore? You need a re-write, if it’s the latter!)
Proofread, and make it perfect! Errors and misspellings will put you in the “Forget it!” pile. Do your due diligence as a writer!
Remember, shorter is better. As I said, this is not the place for War and Peace.