Sample Query Letter

Sample Query Letter

Want to get an agent or traditional publisher? The first thing you'll need to do is prepare a query letter. Here's a few tips, and a template you can use to kick-start the process.


1. Visit your local bookstore, and bring a notepad. Stroll through your genre and find books that are similar to your own. 

2. Write down the publishers of those novels, and the author names.

3. Go home and pull up the internet. First research the publishers and their submission process. Then pull up the authors; their websites will typically list their agents, and those are the agents you should approach. 

Tip #2: Personalize the Letter

If you can, mention in your query letter one of the agent or publisher's current works, or something specific that was mentioned on their website's submission information. Let them know that you have done your research.


Tip #3: Make Sure The Excerpt is PERFECT

It is standard for you to include a small excerpt of your novel (10 pages) with your query letter. That excerpt needs to be as perfect as possible. That means no typos, clean formatting - and for goodness sake, make sure that the excerpt is interesting. 


Tip #4: Handle Rejection Correctly

You don't have to send a response to each rejection, but if you do ... BE GRACIOUS. Thank them for their time and comments, and tell them that you appreciate the feedback. 

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Here's a query letter template. I hope it helps!

Dear <Insert Name>:

I am writing to introduce my novel, <Insert Title>, a <Insert Length and Genre>. I saw on your website that you are accepting submissions, and feel that this novel is similar to <Insert a Title or Author Name that relates to this agent or publisher>.

<Insert Title> is the story of <Insert 3-4 Sentence Description of Your Novel >.

Readers of <Insert Similar Books> will enjoy the <Insert Book Characteristics, for example: witty dialogue, relationship building, and unexpected twist>.

<Insert Short Bio, just a sentence or two. Only include this if you have writing experience or life experience that relates to your novel>. 

Thank you for your time and consideration. I have included the first ten pages of the novel, and look forward to your thoughts. 


<Your Name and Contact Information>

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