How To Write A Query Letter In 12 Easy Steps

Thank you for the positive feedback from my post - How to write a one-page synopsis. Of course, it's just as important to write a great query letter to accompany that synopsis. I have put together what I believe is essential to include in your query letter in the template below.

Five important things to remember about a query letter:
  1. A query letter should be no longer than one or two pages, including the address, and the greetings. 
  2. Use the same 12 point font you have used in your manuscript and synopsis. Look for the font you should use on the submission guidelines page.
  3. It should be addressed to the correct agent or publisher. Make sure you spell names correctly.
  4. Your query letter should be error-free.
  5. Write a focused, professional, realistic letter.

These letters are important if you’re trying to break into a major market and the publisher does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. They are the gateway to your goal. Try to make a good impression. Sell your story, and then yourself. 

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 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Pinterest,  FacebookGoogle+Tumblr  and Twitter. 

© Amanda Patterson


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7 responses
I asked a question about this subject at a writing conference last year and the answer I received was unsatisfactory. Perhaps I can ask it again here and get something I can use. I understand paragraphs one and two but paragraph three is something else altogether. Exactly what can a new fiction writer put there when there is no awards, recognitions, honors, or other writing achievements? As an absolute new writer I have nothing, not even education as my formal training and professional background have little to do with fiction writing. Where does one begin? How?
What we mean by 'qualified' does not only include the things mentioned in point 2. Include your passion for writing, your love of reading books in the genre, and why you chose to write the book. You don't have to go overboard. Keep it simple.
Excellent post, Amanda! What would have been even better is, if you could have given the link to a couple of sample query letters. Just saying! :)
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