Query Letters: Top 10 Checklist

7 11 2012

One of my favorite things to write and edit are query letters. A query letter is equivalent to a cover letter in the business world however, it also should exemplify you as a writer. All the effort you put into your work needs to be encapsulated in your query letter. Perfecting the balance between business and beauty is difficult but here are ten things to make sure you have in your query letter:

1. Know the audience that will eventually read your book.

Knowing the genre of the book should give you an inkling as to who will be interested in your book but try to narrow it down to specific demographics.

2. State a marketing plan.

A sentence or two about how you are going to help sell your book will show that you are invested in the future of your book.

3. Confidence.

Most writers tear themselves down in their query letters. Be proud of your work, your accomplishments, and detail how you are going to achieve your future goals. Timidity and fraity have no place in publishing.

4. Your biography should describe you as a writer.

The biography section is neither an autobiography or the listing of you CV accomplishments. It is supposed to describe your journey as a writer-where you began, to how you got to where you are now. State publishing credits and how they have helped you.

5. Strong, conscise prose.

6. The letter should only be one page, double spaced.

7. Make sure you are pitching to the right agent.

Pitch query letters to a few agencies that SELL WORK LIKE YOURS. Read a few of the books that the agent recently sold and state how the books are complimentary. Craft each query letter- don’t send out a generic one and just change the name. Research the agent and learn a few things about them.

8.  State the genre.

9. State the word count.

10.  Proofread and fix:  grammar, syntax, and typography.

Want help with your query letters? Contact carolyn@charleshenryediting.com to set up an appointment to edit your query letters.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

The Commonzense of Saint James

“The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.” Pema Chodron


Fun Learning Resouces for Kids

Author Charmaine Gordon

Stories of Women Who Survive... and Thrive

Malcolm's Round Table

The real when closely observed becomes magical.

melinda clayton

Reading, Writing, and Random Thoughts


Pre-publishing Services for eBooks and Print Publications

Zafar Anjum

Writer, publisher, filmmaker & entrepreneur I If you don't look for risk, risk will find you.

Angela M. Shupe

Bella Verita: Beautiful Truth

Cats With Thumbs

Literary Scratching Post and Blogzine :: ISSN 2152-6753

P. J. Casselman

An Autistic Author Addressing Associates

M C Raj Author

Official Website of M C Raj

Rachael J. Thorne

We all have our dreams



The Plain Wife by Aimee Jones

My humble offerings as a small town Facebook enthusiast and aspiring novelist from the golden plains of Oklahoma.

Rachel Tsoumbakos

Rachel Tsoumbakos is the author of historical fiction, contemporary horror and paranormal romance fiction

%d bloggers like this: