How to write a query letter so that you can obtain an publisher or literary agent to help get your book published.
1. Write A Good Book That You Want To Have Published
First of all, you need to write a polished book that you want to have published. The manuscript shouldn't be a first draft -- take the time to make sure the plot flows well and most basic grammar and syntax problems have been resolved. Once you have the book written, you may want to seek out an agent that knows how to get a book published. The major print publishers will not even look at your book, much less publish it unless it is submitted to them by a literary agent. Fortunately, eBook publishers are more open to writers who don't have an agent, but an agent can still help negotiate the best deal for the author.
2. Write A Query Letter To Sell Yourself And Your Book
Finding a literary agent is a difficult task, so you want to ensure that your query letter grabs their attention. Grabbing their attention will interest them to take a look at your book, which is the first step in retaining them as an agent. If they view your book and like it, then they are going to be willing to become your agent and help you submit it to a publishing company. If you are submitting the query letter directly to the publisher, generating interest from the letter is even more important since it can lead directly to a book deal. Look up a sample of a query letter on the web that matches your field or genre (general fiction, romance, etc.).
3. Part One - Writing The Greeting And Introduction
This is the most important part of the letter because this has to interest the person to read further. If the greeting and introduction doesn't peak an interest, the letter will be tossed aside. It is essential to ensure that you address the agent or publisher correctly. Make sure that you are up front about asking for consideration for representation or publication. Also, it is important to show that you have researched the publisher or agent's work and know authors that they represent. When you write the query letter introduction, go through several drafts just like in your writing. As a writing exercise, take the point of view of the publisher or agent. Would the introduction stand out if you had to read dozens of query letters each day?
4. Part Two - Summarize Your Book With One Sentence
Your summary should include what type of book you wrote, such as a novel. The summary should also include one sentence only describing your book. So, it is essential that you work on it until you can describe your book with one sentence. Then, you can discuss the plot of the book.
5. Part Three - The Facts And The Hype
This paragraph or two is where you will tell the genre of your book, page count and number of words. The perfect number of words should be between 75,000 and 130,000. You should also let the agent know that book is completely finished. This is also where you would list your credentials and advise if this is your first book. Again, you want to ask the agent for their representation. Let them know that you are pasting an excerpt of the novel into the email. Most importantly, while you are selling yourself and your book, always tell the truth!
6. Part Four - How To Wrap Up The Letter
Conclude the letter by thanking the agent for their time in reading your letter. It is a business letter, so keep it professional. Sign the letter with a professional closing. Make sure to include your name, email address and phone number so that the agent can contact you.
7. Send The Letter And Play The Waiting Game
Once you have read over the letter several times and polished it, send it off to the publisher(s) or book publishing agent. Then, you just have to sit back, wait and hope that one of the representatives that you sent the letter to will contact you. If they request a full copy of your book, that can lead to you becoming a published author soon.
8. Take a look at these other resources