If you’re a querying writer nothing makes you want to jump off a cliff faster than having to write a query letter or dreaded synopsis. Now, as painful it is to write one, it’s also the only way to get a literary agent’s attention and your ticket to traditional publishing if that’s something you’re aiming for. Now, I’ve written a myriad variety of query letters for different projects and I’ve gotten full manuscript requests for them, so I have some experience in writing them. I’m not going to say that I’m a full on expert as agents are all different and some may respond better to one type of query than another, but if you’re just starting out or wish to amp your query writing game, then check out below for some tips on how to nail a winning query letter!
TIP ONE. ALWAYS START WITH A SALUTATION.
The classic Dear is fine in this case, followed by Mr./Ms. and the agent’s surname. Please make sure to spell their name correctly and for the love of all that is important to you, NEVER and I mean NEVER open a query with “To Whom It May Concern” unless you want to end up in the rejection pile pronto.
TIP TWO. BEGIN YOUR LETTER WITH A HOOK.
Before you delve into your MS’s plot and amazing characters, you should catch the agent’s attention right away and the best way to do that is by delivering your hook right away. What makes this MS stand out for all the rest? Find out what it is and hook your reader stat!
TIP THREE. NO MORE THAN THREE SHORT PARAGRAPHS TO EXPLAIN YOUR PLOT.
After you’ve delivered your hook, now you can explain what your plot is, what your main protagonists are, and what the main conflict is. This is also where state the GENRE, WORD COUNT, and any comp titles.
TIP FOUR. SUCCINT SHORT BIO AT THE END.
This is where you write why you’re the perfect person to write this book (say if you’re writing about a drug addict and you’re an ex addict or if you’re an own voices author), whatever it is you can state it here but keep it short!
And this wraps up my four tips for writing a compelling query! Let me know if this has helped you!