Submitting a query letter to a publisher or agent doesn’t have to be a complicated process. A query letter template can simplify the work.
Think of a query letter as a Mad Libs game like the ones you played as a kid. The basic structure is there; you just have to fill in the blanks with appropriate words. To make it as easy as possible, you can use our query letter below as a guide (or make it even easier and order a query letter package):
You can see in this query letter template where you can substitute details and descriptions pertaining to your work. Your information doesn’t have to be elaborate. You should be able to describe your novel (or other work) in simple terms. If you can’t, that may be a sign that you need to rework and refine it before pitching to an agent or publisher.
What to do before you write your query letter
You can find query letter templates online, but before you use one, you need to complete a few tasks.
Research your targets. Find books similar in story and tone to yours (preferably at the bookstore, as those will be the most current). Take note of the authors and publishers. Find submission procedures for each publisher online and then locate the authors’ websites, which will typically list their agents. This will help you create your list of recipients for your query letter.
Make it personal. Be sure to mention a few current works from the publisher or agent in your query letter. You should also include any specific details requested in the submission guidelines on the agent or publisher’s website. This will let your recipient know you’ve done your research.
Revise to perfection. If you include a writing sample (follow the guidelines from the agent or publisher’s website), you need to ensure the sample is flawless. The sample should contain no typos and be perfectly formatted. Most importantly, it needs to capture the reader’s interest.
Handle rejection gracefully. Be gracious if you choose to respond to any rejection (you don’t have to if you don’t want to). Thank the recipient for his or her time and feedback.
If you need assistance with developing a query letter, order your query letter package now.