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What Is a Query Letter?

By Jonathan Carnino

A query letter is a formal letter sent to a book publisher or literary agent, requesting they consider your work for publication or representation. The query letter is your opportunity to introduce yourself and your work, and to convince the recipient that your manuscript is worth their time and attention.

Query Letter

To write a query letter that will make an impression, you'll need to follow some basic guidelines. First, be sure to personalize the letter for each individual recipient - don't send the same query letter to multiple agents or publishers. Next, make sure your letter is well-written and error-free. Finally, be concise and to the point, highlighting the most important aspects of your work.


The basic guidelines to keep in mind for a query letter are as follows:

  • Introduce yourself and your work.

  • Personalize the letter for each individual recipient.

  • Make sure your letter is well-written and error-free.

  • Be concise and to the point, highlighting the most important aspects of your work.

  • Highlight what makes your work unique and why they should be interested.

  • Include a brief summary of your manuscript.

  • Include your contact information.


When writing your query letter, think about what makes your work unique and why the recipient should be interested. Be sure to include a brief summary of your manuscript, as well as your contact information. If you've been published before, or have any writing awards or accolades to mention, be sure to include that information as well.

If you've been published before, or have any writing awards or accolades to mention, be sure to include that information as well. This is the perfect opportunity to make an impression and show the agent/publisher that you're serious about your work. Good luck!

The query letter is an important part of the publishing process, and a well-written letter can make all the difference. By following these guidelines, you'll be able to create a query letter that will make an impression and help you get your work published.