But a few days ago, I received what has got to be one of the best query letters I have received in a long time.
I say “one of the best” because others that have ranked high on my personal list of successful query letters have all come from authors who have previously published and have developed a fan base.
There is a lot to be said by following the examples set by others with experience if you would like to do what they are doing, that is to say, get published.
I’ll give a brief outline of the parts of this query letter.
All in all, they presented a clear and concise summary of what they have to offer and why they would be a good candidate for submission and acceptance at our house.
But note what they left out: an extensive bio, reference to attached materials like excerpts or even the entire manuscript, mention of (expected) royalty rates. Going into such detail at the query stage can be taken as presumptuous.
Put all these elements together and you have a query letter that worked. I am intrigued enough to find out more, and if it all holds up, I will offer a contract. Through their query letter, this author has shown that they are professional, organized, and savvy as to what it takes to compete in their genre of choice.
Your query letter may not have all these elements to the same extent as this particular example, but you should make sure that the above information is represented in your letter. You need to show the publisher that you have done your homework.
©2012. Zetta Brown. If you like this post, then stop by Zetta’s Desk or any of her other blogs.