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

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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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A Mad, Wicked Folly

Author: Sharon Biggs Waller

Genre: Fiction

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Between Earth and Sky

Author: Amanda Skenandore

Genre: Historical Fiction, Psychological Fiction

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Braced

Author: Alyson Gerber

Genre: Fiction, Bildungsroman

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People Who Knew Me

Author: Kim Hooper

Genre: Psychological Fiction

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If I Fix You

Author: Abigail Johnson

Genre: Fiction

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Where the Watermelons Grow

Author: Cindy Baldwin

Genre: Fiction

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Mosquitoland

Author: David Arnold

Genre: Fiction

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P.S. I Miss You

Author: Jen Petro-Roy

Genre: Fiction, Epistolary Fiction

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Darling Rose Gold

Author: Stephanie Wrobel

Genre: Fiction, Psychological Thriller

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Hunting Annabelle

Author: Wendy Heard

Genre: Fiction, Psychological Thriller

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Children’s Fiction


The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic

Author: Jennifer Trafton

Genre: Fantasy, Children’s Literature

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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 Literature, Fantasy & Magic, Family

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Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow

Author: Nathan Bransford

Genre: Science Fiction, Children’s Literature

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It’s Raining Bats & Frogs

Author: Rebecca Colby

Genre: Children’s Literature

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The Peculiar

Author: Stefan Bachmann

Genre: Fantasy, Children’s Literature

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Steering Toward Normal

Author: Rebecca Petruck

Genre: Children’s Literature, Middle Grade

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Sure Signs of Crazy

Author: Karen Harrington

Genre: Children’s Literature

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Pickle Impossible

Author: Eli Stutz

Genre: Children’s Literature, Middle Grade, Adventure

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Sway

Author: Amber McRee Turner

Genre: Children’s Literature, Adventure, Middle Grade

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I Have A Balloon

Author: Ariel Bernstein

Genre: Humor, Fiction, Children’s Literature

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Maximillian Villainous

Author: Margaret Chiu Greanias

Genre: Humor, Fiction, Children’s Literature

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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: 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, 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 Fiction

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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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Gates of Thread and Stone

Author: Lori M. Lee

Genre: Fantasy

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Bitten & Smitten

Author: Michelle Rowen

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Vampire Literature

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The Whitefire Crossing

Author: Courtney Schafer

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

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All the Stars and Teeth

Author: Adalyn Grace

Genre: Fantasy

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City of Lies

Author: Sam Hawke

Genre: Fantasy

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Midsummer’s Mayhem

Author: Rajani LaRocca

Genre: Fantasy

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The Secret Ingredient of Wishes

Author: Susan Bishop Crispell

Genre: Magical Realism, Fantasy

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The Night Circus

Author: Erin Morgenstern

Genre: Romance, High Fantasy, Fantasy

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Blackwing

Author: Edward David McDonald

Genre: Fantasy, Apocalyptic Fiction

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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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The Lost Night

Author: Andrea Bartz

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Fiction

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The Prey

Author: Allison Brennan

Genre: Romance, Suspense, Psychological Fiction

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Trust Me, I’m Lying

Author: Mary Elizabeth Summer

Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Suspense

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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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Dark Desires

Author: Eve Silver

Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction, Gothic Fiction

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Karma Girl

Author: Jennifer Estep

Genre: Humor, Fiction, Romance, Paranormal Romance

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The Husband Trap

Author: Tracy Anne Warren

Genre: Romance, Historical Romance, Regency Fiction

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Some Kind of Magic

Author: Mary Ann Marlowe

Genre: Erotic Romance, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary Romance

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Caged in Winter

Author: Brighton Walsh

Genre: Romance, New Adult

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Unethical

Author: Jennifer Blackwood

Genre: Romance, New Adult

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Chasing Crazy

Author: Kelly Siskind

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

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Sorcerer to the Crown

Author: Zen Cho

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Historical Fantasy

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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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