Have you ever wondered about how to write a query letter? We have written this article just because of you. First of all, let’s get to know what a query letter entails.
WHAT’S A QUERY LETTER?
A query letter is a one-page letter sent to literary agents in an effort to get them excited about your book. You have one page and 300 words (or less) to woo a literary agent into falling in love with your story and then requesting your manuscript.
A query letter is an appeal to publishers or agents in an effort to get them interested in something you’ve written, usually a book. A proper query letter will provide a synopsis of your book, will give a bit of information about the author, and will hopefully pique the interest of agents or publishers enough that they’ll want to read more. The important thing with a query letter is to follow the basic format, and to present all the relevant information in a very succinct and interesting way.
HOW TO WRITE A QUERY LETTER
Step 1: Write your Name, Address, Phone Number and Email Address
At the very top of the page, write out your first and last name, followed by your address on the next two lines, followed by your phone number on the next line, and finally your email address below that.
Step 2: Write the Agent’s Name, Publish Company and Agent’s Address
 Leave one space, and then write out the agent’s name, the name of the publishing company or agency, the address, and contact information below your address.
Step 3: Write the Body of the Letter
 Query letters have a basic formula that you should follow closely. Follow the formula. This will
ensure that you include all the relevant information, and increase the chances that your letter will be read. The entire body of the query letter shouldn’t be longer than five paragraphs. Along with contact information, a query letter will include:
- Line one: the greeting
- Paragraph one: the personalization, or introduction, and the hook
- Paragraph two: the synopsis of your story
- Paragraph three: a short bio about you
- Paragraph four: your closing
- A farewell (on a separate line)
- Your signature
Keep the query letter to one page, and use short, succinct sentences and short paragraphs. Agents are busy people, and if your query letter is too long and too wordy, there’s a good chance it’ll just get thrown out.
Moreover, the agent may just skim your letter, and you want that person to still get the gist of the story.
Type your letter in a regular font with basic formatting. Query letters are professional business letters, and business letter best practices dictate using basic formatting only. This includes using:
- 12-point font
- Single spacing
- Left-margin alignment for the entire letter
- Times New Roman or Arial font
- A single line of spacing between new elements and paragraphs
*Query Letter Dos
Be original. Your query must stand out in the crowd .
Be brief and to the point. This is a business letter; don’t be chatty.
Use short paragraphs.
Be sure to indicate the genre of your script.
Accurately represent your project and who you are!
Your query letter should emphasize how your script will meet the executive’s needs, not vice versa.
Impress the executive with your writing craft.
Provide your contact information. If you’re going to be moving, then mention when your new contact information will be in effect.
*Query Letter Don’ts
No typos. No grammatical errors. No incorrect punctuation. No smudges.
Don’t handwrite your letter.
Don’t repeat your logline in your synopsis.
Don’t flatter the addressee too much.
Don’t sell yourself short.
Don’t beg or ask for permission to send your script.
Don’t include casting or box-office projections.
Don’t be obnoxiously funny or too cute to attract attention.
Don’t state your theme(s). If you do your job well, this will be evident.
Don’t say that your script is great; your logline and synopsis should say it all.
Don’t include your ideas on how your script should be marketed.
Don’t include your script’s budget.
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