116 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 116 query letter examples from famous authors spanning various genres:


Adult Fiction


Numb

Author: Sean Ferrell

Genre: Contemporary

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The Bells

Author: Richard Harvell

Genre: Historical

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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

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Breathers

Author: S.G. Browne

Genre: Contemporary, Dark Humor

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Children’s Fiction


The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic

Author: Jennifer Trafton

Genre: Fantasy, Children’s Books

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A Snicker of Magic

Original title used in query letter: Theres Magic in Midnight Gulch

Author: Natalie Lloyd

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

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Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow

Author: Nathan Bransford

Genre: Science Fiction, Children’s Books

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It’s Raining Bats & Frogs

Author: Rebecca Colby

Genre: Children’s Books

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The Peculiar

Author: Stefan Bachmann

Genre: Fantasy, Children’s Books

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Steering Toward Normal

Author: Rebecca Petruck

Genre: Children’s, Middle Grade

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Sure Signs of Crazy

Author: Karen Harrington

Genre: Children’s Books

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Pickle Impossible

Author: Eli Stutz

Genre: Children’s Books, Middle Grade, Adventure

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Sway

Author: Amber McRee Turner

Genre: Children’s Books, Adventure, Middle Grade

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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

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Murder on the Rocks

Author: Karen MacInerney

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Women Sleuths

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Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Original title used in query letter: Blessed Are the Dead

Author: Kristi Belcamino

Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

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The Big Rewind

Original title used in query letter: No Awkward Goodbyes

Author: Libby Cudmore

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime

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Untold Damage

Author: Robert K. Lewis

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime

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A Bad Day for Sorry

Author: Sophie Littlefield

Genre: Mystery, Crime, Women Sleuths

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The Phoenix Reich

Original title used in query letter: The Phoenix Conspiracy

Author: Joshua Lisec

Genre: Thriller, Adventure

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Fantasy


Tiger’s Curse

Author: Colleen Houck

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

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Soulless

Author: Gail Carriger

Genre: Steampunk, Gothic Romance, Fantasy

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By Darkness Hid

Original title used in query letter: Prince Gidon

Author: Jill Williamson

Genre: Teens, Young Adult, Fantasy, Religious Fiction

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Magic Lost, Trouble Found

Original title used in query letter: Thief of Souls

Author: Lisa Shearin

Genre: Fantasy, Speculative Fiction

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Luck in the Shadows

Author: Lynn Flewelling

Genre: Fantasy, Action & Adventure

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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

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The Demon’s Lexicon

Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

Genre: Paranormal & Urban Fiction, Fantasy, Teen & Young Adult

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Enchanted, Inc.

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

Author: Shanna Swendson

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy, Chick Lit, Women’s

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Keeper

Author: Kim Chance

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fantasy

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An Enchantment of Ravens

Author: Margaret Rogerson

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

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Midnight Thief

Author: Livia Blackburne

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

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The Iron Witch

Author: Karen Mahoney

Genre: Young, Adult, Urban Fantasy

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The Accidental Demon Slayer

Author: Angie Fox

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

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Monstrous

Author: MarcyKate Connolly

Genre: Children’s Books, Fantasy, Young Adult

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Mystery/Suspense


Prime Time

Author: Hank Phillippi Ryan

Genre: Mystery, Women’s

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The Night Child

Original title used in query letter: Split

Author: Anna Quinn

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

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The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors

Author: Michele Young-Stone

Genre: Mystery

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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

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The Hand-Me-Down PC

Author: Morris Rosenthal

Genre: Nonfiction

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War Is Boring

Author: David Axe

Genre: Graphic Novel, Memoir

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Over-the-Counter Natural Cures

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

Author: Shane Ellison

Genre: Nonfiction, Health

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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

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Dumbemployed

Author: Phil Edwards & Matt Kraft

Genre: Humor, Anthology, Nonfiction

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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

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

Author: Suzanne Hansen

Genre: Memoir, Humor

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Romance


Sandhill Dreams

Original title used in query letter: A Fort Robinson Summer

Author: Cara Putman

Genre: Historical Romance, Religious Fiction, Western & Frontier

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Proof by Seduction

Author: Courtney Milan

Genre: Historical Romance

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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

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Rumble on the Bayou

Author: Jana DeLeon

Genre: Mystery, Supernatural, Contemporary Romance

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Only with You

Author: Lauren Layne

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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The Healer’s Apprentice

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

Author: Melanie Dickerson

Genre: Teens, Religious Fiction, Historical Romance

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Catching Jordan

Original title used in query letter: Score

Author: Miranda Kenneally

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

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The Notebook

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

Genre: Historical Romance

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Private Arrangements

Original title used in query letter: Schemes of Love

Author: Sherry Thomas

Genre: Historical Romance

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A Gift of Grace

Author: Amy Clipston

Genre: Amish, Christian Fiction, Romance

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A Royal Pain

Author: Megan Mulry

Genre: Regency Romance, Women’s Fiction

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The Siren

Author: Tiffany Reisz

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

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Letters from Home

Author: Kristina Mcmorris

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Historical, Romance

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A Widow’s Hope

Author: Mary Ellis

Genre: Amish, Christian Fiction, Romance

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Grave Intentions

Author: Lori Sjoberg

Genre: Romance, Paranormal

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Devil on a Sparrow’s Wing

Author: Calista Taylor

Genre: Steampunk, Romance

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Science Fiction


Ancillary Justice

Original title used in query letter: Justice of Toren

Author: Ann Leckie

Genre: Science Fiction

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Death Thieves

Original title used in query letter: The Revolution

Author: Julie Wright

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult

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Hazzardous Universe

Author: Julie Wright

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

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The Daedalus Incident

Author: Michael J. Martinez

Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk, Science Fiction

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Women’s Literature


The Arrivals

Author: Meg Mitchell Moore

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Domestic Fiction

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She Came from Beyond!

Original title used in query letter: She Came from Beyond

Author: Nadine Darling

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Domestic Fiction

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The Art of Falling

Author: Kathryn Craft

Genre: Women’s Fiction

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The Weird Sisters

Author: Eleanor Brown

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Domestic Fiction

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Simply from Scratch

Author: Alicia Bessette

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Domestic Fiction, Contemporary

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Stay

Author: Allie Larkin

Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction

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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

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If You Follow Me

Original title used in query letter: Repeat After Me

Author: Malena Watrous

Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction

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The Last Will of Moira Leahy

Author: Therese Walsh

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary

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The Department of Lost & Found

Author: Allison Winn Scotch

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Domestic Fiction

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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

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The Maze Runner

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

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction

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Pride and Popularity

Author: Jenni James

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

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THE DUFF

Author: Kody Keplinger

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

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Cinder

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

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopian

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Give up the Ghost

Author: Megan Crewe

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

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A Wicked Thing

Original title used in query letter: After

Author: Rhiannon Thomas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairy Tales

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Under a Painted Sky

Original title used in query letter: Golden Boys

Author: Stacey Lee

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Adventure Fiction

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Origin

Original title used in query letter: Perfectly Pia

Author: Jessica Khoury

Genre: Young Adult

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Of Poseidon

Author: Anna Banks

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

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Not a Drop to Drink

Author: Mindy McGinnis

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian

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The Heir and the Spare

Author: Emily Albright

Genre: Young Adult

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As You Wish

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

Author: Jackson Pearce

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fantasy, Romance

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You’re Welcome, Universe

Author: Whitney Gardner

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

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Sad Perfect

Author: Stephanie Elliot

Genre: Young Adult

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Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings

Author: Helene Boudreau

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

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The Weight of Zero

Author: Karen Fortunati

Genre: Young Adult, Social & Family Issues

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A Death-Struck Year

Author: Makiia Lucier

Genre: Young, Adult, Historical

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Falls the Shadow

Author: Stefanie Gaither

Genre: Young, Adult, Science Fiction

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The Rules for Disappearing

Author: Ashley Elston

Genre: Young Adult, Thriller

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Ink

Author: Amanda Sun

Genre: Young, Adult, Fantasy

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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

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Oh. My. Gods.

Original title used in query letter: Growing Up Godly

Author: Tera Lynn Child

Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, Fantasy

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The Liar Society

Author: Lisa & Laura Roecker

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

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Wildefire

Author: Karsten Knight

Genre: Young, Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mythology

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Freefall

Author: Mindi Scott

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

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The Last Good Place of Lily Odilon

Author: Sara Beitia

Genre: Young Adult, Suspense

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Losing Faith

Author: Denise Jaden

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Shadow Hills

Author: Anastasia Hopcus

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

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I Was a Teenage Popsicle

Author: Bev Katz Rosenbaum

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

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A Match Made in High School

Author: Kristin Walker

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

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Tagged

Author: Mara Purnhagen

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

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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

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Wake

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

Author: Lisa McMann

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

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Extraction

Author: Stephanie Diaz

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult

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Eighth Grade Superzero

Original title used in query letter: Long Time No Me

Author: Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Genre: Young Adult, Humor, Middle Grade

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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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