Components of a Query Letter

Components Body

Your Query Letter should always be a one-pager (150 to 200 words) with these components and in this order:

1) Professional, courteous greeting

There are bonus points for addressing it to the right person.

2) Intro with Essential Information and Tagline (The ‘Elevator Pitch’ – ‘The Hook’)

3) Mini-Synopsis (Blurb)

This is one to three paragraphs with a longer description of your work (third person –present tense!). Like you want your book cover to read.

4) Bio

This is a brief paragraph about your published or otherwise relevant credits, if appropriate:

Organizations, workshops, classes, conferences, awards, published works, etc.

5) Professional closing

This should be polite, with your name and contact information.

 

The opening greeting (Item #1) can be just the firm’s name and address, date and a salutation (getting the agent’s name from the resources mentioned earlier in “Who Gets Your Query Letter”. Alternately, you can mention a connection of some sort:

  • That you met this agent at a recent writers’ workshop
  • That you were referred to him/her by another author or agent
  • That you’ve read other works he/she has published
  • That you admire this agents approach or personal writings, etc.

The other components deserve more attention and are covered in the next sections.

 


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