4 Tips to Creating a Mind-Blowing Query Letter

It is our last week in our eight-week publishing and editing series! This has been a wonderful series and I hope I have helped you all get your footing in the world of editing and publishing.

If you want to check out the other posts in this series, check the table at the bottom of the post.

This week, we’ll take a look at four tips to creating a mind-blowing query letter.

1. Start with a Short Synopsis

Open up your query letter with a short summary of your book. This will help capture an agent’s or editor’s attention. The opening sentence to my query letter is: Hattie’s dream of becoming a journalist has always come second to protecting her mother from her father’s drunken abuse.

Don’t make this synopsis too long. Introduce the main character, the central problem, and some major plot points.

2. Include the Stats

You likely know your final word count if you’re at the point of writing a query letter (note: round to the nearest thousand). You should also know what your genre is. Include some comp titles as well. These books don’t have to have the exact same plot, but they should have something in common.

Here is how I wrote the stats for Lies that Bind:

Fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell will appreciate Hattie’s coming-of-age story in LIES THAT BIND, a 70,000-word young adult contemporary romance novel.

3. Introduce Yourself

You should include a short bio in your query letter. Include any relevant information such as education, job title, and any organizations you may be apart of. You can include it anywhere, but I made it the last paragraph of my letter:

This is my debut novel. I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University and am the Senior Editor for the Price of Business Digital Network. I am a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

4. Personalize it

This is optional, but it shows that you know what you’re doing. If you met this agent at a conference, tell them this in the letter. If you’re submitting to them because of their dedication to a certain topic, let them know. Show them that you have done your research.

What can you do to improve your query letter? Are there any tips I didn’t mention?

March 16, 2021Which Route Should You Take: Self-Publishing or Traditional?
March 23, 2021Why Does it Take So Long to Publish Traditionally?
March 30, 2021How Long Does It Take to Self-Publish Your Novel?
April 6, 2021Is Your Book Ready for an Editor?
April 13, 2021Looking for an Editor? Ask Them These 10 Questions First
April 20, 2021The 8 Questions I Ask Perspective Clients
April 27, 2021Is Your Manuscript Agent-Ready? Use My Checklist to Make Sure
May 4, 20214 Tips to Creating a Mind-Blowing Query Letter

7 thoughts on “4 Tips to Creating a Mind-Blowing Query Letter

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