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161 Examples of Successful Query Letters from Famous Authors



On the road to traditional publication, your query letter plays a central role in getting your book noticed. In fact, when it comes to landing literary agents and publishers, a compelling and properly formatted query letter is just as important as a good manuscript. To help inspire you, we’ve collected 161 query letter examples from famous authors spanning various genres:


Adult Fiction


Numb

Author: Sean Ferrell

Genre: Contemporary


The Bells

Author: Richard Harvell

Genre: Historical


The Art of Racing in the Rain

Author: Garth Stein (This query letter example comes from a New York Times bestseller.)

Genre: Animal Fiction, Contemporary


Breathers

Author: S.G. Browne

Genre: Contemporary, Dark Humor


A Mad, Wicked Folly

Author: Sharon Biggs Waller

Genre: Fiction


Between Earth and Sky

Author: Amanda Skenandore

Genre: Historical Fiction, Psychological Fiction


Braced

Author: Alyson Gerber

Genre: Fiction, Bildungsroman


People Who Knew Me

Author: Kim Hooper

Genre: Psychological Fiction


If I Fix You

Author: Abigail Johnson

Genre: Fiction


Where the Watermelons Grow

Author: Cindy Baldwin

Genre: Fiction


Mosquitoland

Author: David Arnold

Genre: Fiction


P.S. I Miss You

Author: Jen Petro-Roy

Genre: Fiction, Epistolary Fiction


Darling Rose Gold

Author: Stephanie Wrobel

Genre: Fiction, Psychological Thriller


Hunting Annabelle

Author: Wendy Heard

Genre: Fiction, Psychological Thriller



Children’s Fiction


The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic

Author: Jennifer Trafton

Genre: Fantasy, Children’s Literature


A Snicker of Magic

Original title used in query letter: There’s Magic in Midnight Gulch

Author: Natalie Lloyd

Genre: Children’s Literature, Fantasy & Magic, Family


Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow

Author: Nathan Bransford

Genre: Science Fiction, Children’s Literature


It’s Raining Bats & Frogs

Author: Rebecca Colby

Genre: Children’s Literature


The Peculiar

Author: Stefan Bachmann

Genre: Fantasy, Children’s Literature


Steering Toward Normal

Author: Rebecca Petruck

Genre: Children’s Literature, Middle Grade


Sure Signs of Crazy

Author: Karen Harrington

Genre: Children’s Literature


Pickle Impossible

Author: Eli Stutz

Genre: Children’s Literature, Middle Grade, Adventure


Sway

Author: Amber McRee Turner

Genre: Children’s Literature, Adventure, Middle Grade


I Have A Balloon

Author: Ariel Bernstein

Genre: Humor, Fiction, Children’s Literature


Maximillian Villainous

Author: Margaret Chiu Greanias

Genre: Humor, Fiction, Children’s Literature



Crime Fiction


One for the Money

Author: Janet Evanovich (This query letter example is for the first book in a beloved series.)

Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Women’s Fiction, Women Sleuths, Humor


Murder on the Rocks

Author: Karen MacInerney

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Women Sleuths


Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Original title used in query letter: Blessed Are the Dead

Author: Kristi Belcamino

Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Thriller


The Big Rewind

Original title used in query letter: No Awkward Goodbyes

Author: Libby Cudmore

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime


Untold Damage

Author: Robert K. Lewis

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime


A Bad Day for Sorry

Author: Sophie Littlefield

Genre: Mystery, Crime, Women Sleuths


The Phoenix Reich

Original title used in query letter: The Phoenix Conspiracy

Author: Joshua Lisec

Genre: Thriller, Adventure



Fantasy


Tiger’s Curse

Author: Colleen Houck

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance


Soulless

Author: Gail Carriger

Genre: Steampunk, Gothic Romance, Fantasy


By Darkness Hid

Original title used in query letter: Prince Gidon

Author: Jill Williamson

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Religious Fiction


Magic Lost, Trouble Found

Original title used in query letter: Thief of Souls

Author: Lisa Shearin

Genre: Fantasy, Speculative Fiction


Luck in the Shadows

Author: Lynn Flewelling

Genre: Fantasy, Action & Adventure


Throne of Glass

Original title used in query letter: Queen of Glass

Author: Sarah J. Maas (The novel launched by this successful query letter took the young adult world by storm.)

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance


The Demon’s Lexicon

Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

Genre: Paranormal & Urban Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult


Enchanted, Inc.

Original title used in query letter: Magic, Spells and Illusions, Inc.

Author: Shanna Swendson

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy, Chick Lit, Women’s Fiction


Keeper

Author: Kim Chance

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fantasy


An Enchantment of Ravens

Author: Margaret Rogerson

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy


Midnight Thief

Author: Livia Blackburne

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance


The Iron Witch

Author: Karen Mahoney

Genre: Young, Adult, Urban Fantasy


The Accidental Demon Slayer

Author: Angie Fox

Genre: Fantasy, Romance


Monstrous

Author: MarcyKate Connolly

Genre: Children’s Books, Fantasy, Young Adult


Gates of Thread and Stone

Author: Lori M. Lee

Genre: Fantasy


Bitten & Smitten

Author: Michelle Rowen

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Vampire Literature


The Whitefire Crossing

Author: Courtney Schafer

Genre: Crime Fiction, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy, Adventure, Historical Fantasy


All the Stars and Teeth

Author: Adalyn Grace

Genre: Fantasy


City of Lies

Author: Sam Hawke

Genre: Fantasy


Midsummer’s Mayhem

Author: Rajani LaRocca

Genre: Fantasy


The Secret Ingredient of Wishes

Author: Susan Bishop Crispell

Genre: Magical Realism, Fantasy


The Night Circus

Author: Erin Morgenstern

Genre: Romance, High Fantasy, Fantasy


Blackwing

Author: Edward David McDonald

Genre: Fantasy, Apocalyptic Fiction



Mystery/Suspense


Prime Time

Author: Hank Phillippi Ryan

Genre: Mystery, Women’s


The Night Child

Original title used in query letter: Split

Author: Anna Quinn

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Women’s, Psychological Thriller


The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors

Author: Michele Young-Stone

Genre: Mystery


The Lost Night

Author: Andrea Bartz

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Fiction


The Prey

Author: Allison Brennan

Genre: Romance, Suspense, Psychological Fiction


Trust Me, I’m Lying

Author: Mary Elizabeth Summer

Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Suspense



Nonfiction


You Can’t Get There from Here: A Year on the Fringes of a Shrinking World

Original title used in query letter: Hobbits on the Silk Road

Author: Gayle Forman

Genre: Autobiography, Travel


The Hand-Me-Down PC

Author: Morris Rosenthal

Genre: Nonfiction


War Is Boring

Author: David Axe

Genre: Graphic Novel, Memoir


Over-the-Counter Natural Cures

Original title used in query letter: The Wal-Mart Cure

Author: Shane Ellison

Genre: Nonfiction, Health


Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That and Go There

Original title used in query letter: Timing Is Everything: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That and Go There

Author: Mark Di Vincenzo

Genre: Nonfiction, Reference


Dumbemployed

Author: Phil Edwards & Matt Kraft

Genre: Humor, Anthology, Nonfiction


Hidden Cities: Travels to the Secret Corners of the World’s Great Metropolises: A Memoir of Urban Exploration

Original title used in query letter: Hidden Cities: Inside the Secret World of Urban Explorers

Author: Moses Gates

Genre: Travel Memoir


You’ll Never Nanny in This Town Again: The True Adventures of a Hollywood Nanny

Author: Suzanne Hansen

Genre: Memoir, Humor


Queen of the Road: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus with a Will of Its Own

Author: Doreen Orion

Genre: Memoir, Humor, Travel


River of No Return: Tennessee Ernie Ford and the Woman He Loved

Original title used in query letter: Ernie and His Lovely Wife, Betty

Author: Jeffrey Buckner Ford

Genre: Autobiographies, Memoirs


Peaches & Daddy: A Story of the Roaring 20s, the Birth of Tabloid Media & Courtship That Captured the Heart and Imagination of the American Public

Author: Michael Greenburg

Genre: Nonfiction


Frantic Francis: How One Coach’s Madness Changed Football

Original title used in query letter: The Rise and Fall of Francis Schmidt

Author: Brett Perkins

Genre: Nonfiction, Biographies


The Power of Memoir: How to Write Your Healing Story

Original title used in query letter: Becoming Whole, Writing Your Healing Story

Author: Linda Myers

Genre: Self-Help, Nonfiction



Romance


Sandhill Dreams

Original title used in query letter: A Fort Robinson Summer

Author: Cara Putman

Genre: Historical Romance, Religious Fiction, Western & Frontier


Proof by Seduction

Author: Courtney Milan

Genre: Historical Romance


Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Original title used in query letter: The Panama Hotel

Author: Jamie Ford (This successful query letter was for the author’s debut novel.)

Genre: Historical Fiction, Family Saga


Rumble on the Bayou

Author: Jana DeLeon

Genre: Mystery, Supernatural, Contemporary Romance


Only with You

Author: Lauren Layne

Genre: Contemporary Romance


The Healer’s Apprentice

Original title used in query letter: The Woodcutter’s Daughter

Author: Melanie Dickerson

Genre: Teens, Religious Fiction, Historical Romance


Catching Jordan

Original title used in query letter: Score

Author: Miranda Kenneally

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult


The Notebook

Author: Nicholas Sparks (A successful query letter from a famous romance author.)

Genre: Historical Romance


Private Arrangements

Original title used in query letter: Schemes of Love

Author: Sherry Thomas

Genre: Historical Romance


A Gift of Grace

Author: Amy Clipston

Genre: Amish, Christian Fiction, Romance


A Royal Pain

Author: Megan Mulry

Genre: Regency Romance, Women’s Fiction


The Siren

Author: Tiffany Reisz

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance


Letters from Home

Author: Kristina Mcmorris

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Historical, Romance


A Widow’s Hope

Author: Mary Ellis

Genre: Amish, Christian Fiction, Romance


Grave Intentions

Author: Lori Sjoberg

Genre: Romance, Paranormal


Devil on a Sparrow’s Wing

Author: Calista Taylor

Genre: Steampunk, Romance


Dark Desires

Author: Eve Silver

Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction, Gothic Fiction


Karma Girl

Author: Jennifer Estep

Genre: Humor, Fiction, Romance, Paranormal Romance


The Husband Trap

Author: Tracy Anne Warren

Genre: Romance, Historical Romance, Regency Fiction


Some Kind of Magic

Author: Mary Ann Marlowe

Genre: Erotic Romance, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary Romance


Caged in Winter

Author: Brighton Walsh

Genre: Romance, New Adult


Unethical

Author: Jennifer Blackwood

Genre: Romance, New Adult


Chasing Crazy

Author: Kelly Siskind

Genre: Romance, Coming-of-Age, New Adult


Sorcerer to the Crown

Author: Zen Cho

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Historical Fantasy



Science Fiction


Ancillary Justice

Original title used in query letter: Justice of Toren

Author: Ann Leckie

Genre: Science Fiction


Death Thieves

Original title used in query letter: The Revolution

Author: Julie Wright

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult


Hazzardous Universe

Author: Julie Wright

Genre: Science Fiction, Children’s Books, Fantasy, Adventure


The Daedalus Incident

Author: Michael J. Martinez

Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk, Science Fiction


The Disasters

Author: M.K. England

Genre: Science Fiction


Taken

Author: Erin Bowman

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Dystopian Fiction


Planetside

Author: Michael Mammay

Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller


A Spark of White Fire

Author: Sangu Mandanna

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy


Here and Now and Then

Author: Mike Chen

Genre: Science Fiction, Domestic Fiction, Time Travel Fiction



Women’s Literature


The Arrivals

Author: Meg Mitchell Moore

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Domestic Fiction


She Came from Beyond!

Original title used in query letter: She Came from Beyond

Author: Nadine Darling

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Domestic Fiction


The Art of Falling

Author: Kathryn Craft

Genre: Women’s Fiction


The Weird Sisters

Author: Eleanor Brown

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Domestic Fiction


Simply from Scratch

Author: Alicia Bessette

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Domestic Fiction, Contemporary


Stay

Author: Allie Larkin

Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction


Take It Like a Mom

Original title used in query letter: Better Than T.V.

Author: Stephanie Stiles

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Humor, Domestic Fiction


If You Follow Me

Original title used in query letter: Repeat After Me

Author: Malena Watrous

Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction


The Last Will of Moira Leahy

Author: Therese Walsh

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary


The Department of Lost & Found

Author: Allison Winn Scotch

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Domestic Fiction



Young Adult Fiction


If I Stay

Author: Gayle Forman (This bestselling author shares several successful query letters on her blog.)

Genre: Young Adult, Bildungsroman, Social & Family Issues, Realistic Fiction


The Maze Runner

Author: James Dashner (This successful query letter launched a famous young adult series.)

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction


Pride and Popularity

Author: Jenni James

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance


THE DUFF

Author: Kody Keplinger

Genre: Young Adult, Teens, Romantic Comedy, Social & Family Issues


Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer (This query letter example launched a popular young adult fairytale series.)

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopian


Give up the Ghost

Author: Megan Crewe

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal


A Wicked Thing

Original title used in query letter: After

Author: Rhiannon Thomas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairy Tales


Under a Painted Sky

Original title used in query letter: Golden Boys

Author: Stacey Lee

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Adventure


Origin

Original title used in query letter: Perfectly Pia

Author: Jessica Khoury

Genre: Young Adult


Of Poseidon

Author: Anna Banks

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy


Not a Drop to Drink

Author: Mindy McGinnis

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian


The Heir and the Spare

Author: Emily Albright

Genre: Young Adult


As You Wish

Original title used in query letter: There Are No Stars in Caliban

Author: Jackson Pearce

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fantasy, Romance


You’re Welcome, Universe

Author: Whitney Gardner

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult


Sad Perfect

Author: Stephanie Elliot

Genre: Young Adult


Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings

Author: Helene Boudreau

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult


The Weight of Zero

Author: Karen Fortunati

Genre: Young Adult, Social & Family Issues


A Death-Struck Year

Author: Makiia Lucier

Genre: Young, Adult, Historical


Falls the Shadow

Author: Stefanie Gaither

Genre: Young, Adult, Science Fiction


The Rules for Disappearing

Author: Ashley Elston

Genre: Young Adult, Thriller


Ink

Author: Amanda Sun

Genre: Young, Adult, Fantasy


Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars

Original title used in query letter: Skyship Academy

Author: Nick James

Genre: Young Adult, Children’s Books, Science Fiction, Dystopian


Oh. My. Gods.

Original title used in query letter: Growing Up Godly

Author: Tera Lynn Child

Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, Fantasy


The Liar Society

Author: Lisa & Laura Roecker

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery


Wildefire

Author: Karsten Knight

Genre: Young, Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mythology


Freefall

Author: Mindi Scott

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary


The Last Good Place of Lily Odilon

Author: Sara Beitia

Genre: Young Adult, Suspense


Losing Faith

Author: Denise Jaden


Shadow Hills

Author: Anastasia Hopcus

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery


I Was a Teenage Popsicle

Author: Bev Katz Rosenbaum

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy


A Match Made in High School

Author: Kristin Walker

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary


Tagged

Author: Mara Purnhagen

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary


My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters

Original title used in query letter: My Big Nose & Other Natural Disasters

Author: Sydney Salter

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary


Wake

Original title used in query letter: Janie Hannagan: Dream Catcher

Author: Lisa McMann

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery


Extraction

Author: Stephanie Diaz

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult


Eighth Grade Superzero

Original title used in query letter: Long Time No Me

Author: Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Genre: Young Adult, Humor, Middle Grade


The Nightmare Affair

Author: Mindee Arnett

Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult, Fantasy


The Weight of Our Sky

Author: Hanna Alkaf

Genre: Young Adult


Never, Never

Author: Brianna Shrum

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy


Truest

Author: Jackie Lea Sommers

Genre: Young Adult


Love, Hate, and Other Filters

Author: Samira Ahmed

Genre: Young Adult


When the Beat Drops

Author: Anna Hecker

Genre: Young Adult


Brave Enough

Author: Kati Gardner

Genre: Young Adult


Lunav

Author: Jenn Polish

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy


The Disappearance of Sloane Sullivan

Author: Gia Cribbs

Genre: Young Adult


Did these famous query letters inspire you? If you’re ready to start pursuing a publishing deal for your book, get in touch with our team of experts. We can help you craft a successful query letter, a manuscript synopsis, and other material to pitch your book to a literary agent or publisher and get you one step closer to achieving your goals.



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