How to Write a Book Query Letter for a Literary Agent

A book query letter must be well written and brief.

Step 1 Heading

Center on the top of the page: Your name, address, phone number, email address, and any websites or blogs.

Tip

  • Don't get fancy with font types. Keep it simple.

Step 2 1st Paragraph

Briefly explain why you are contacting the agent. Specifically explain your intentions. Include a line or two explaining why you are contacting that specific agent (research the agent and include some specifics about the agency. Let them know you've done your homework).

Tip

  • Use lines from the agency's website.

Step 3 2nd Paragraph

Write a small paragraph of three to five sentences containing the synopsis of your book. This is to be a general description of your book, avoid going in to detail. Generally describe the theme, plot, and refrain from describing any cliffhangers your book may have.

Tip

  • Keep it simple, yet keep them hooked.

Step 4 3rd Paragraph

This paragraph should be the bulk of your query. Prepare a brief biography including: Your writing skills, editing skills, writing software used, publications you are published in (online and written), self-publishing experience and any websites your work may be viewed. This may be copied and pasted from your resume.

Tip

  • If you currently don't have a resume, I suggest you get cracking on one.

Step 5 Conclude Your Letter

Close the letter by thanking them for their time and reiterate your purpose for contacting them (to submit your book for publishing consideration).

Tip

  • Be patient. Remember that you aren't the only writer that has submitted a query letter to the agency. Give them time to review your query and get back to you.

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