INSIDE THE ART, CRAFT AND BUSINESS OF WRITING for Film, TV, Books, Stage, Print or Digital Media (with Particular Attention to Comedy)

10 Guidelines for Writing a Query to a Book Agent

Here are some good basic guidelines for agent query letters (mostly as they apply to books) from a column on Click here to read the full article.

When Writing a Query Letter Do…

  1. Address the agent by name
  2. Cut right to the chase
  3. Sell your manuscript
  4. Explain why you’ve chosen to query this specific agent
  5. Mention your platform (if you have one)
  6. Study other successful query letters

When Writing a Query Letter Don’t…

  1. Be arrogant
  2. Include your age
  3. Tell agents that you value their time
  4. Include writing credits that aren’t meaningful

2 comments on “10 Guidelines for Writing a Query to a Book Agent

  1. Allie Cresswell
    February 4, 2013

    These are very sensible guidelines. But I wish someone would write a set of guidelines for the agents to use when (if only!) they replied.
    Addressing the writer by name and giving some indication that they have actually read the manuscript would be minimum requirements along with a well-argued reason why they are rejecting it, which, in my experience, they inevitably will do.
    Having sent many query letters along with the 50 pages of manuscript, synopsis and biog they often request, not to mention an SAE, and not even receiving the courtesy of a reply, perhaps I am jaundiced on this issue.

  2. gregorymilleris
    February 4, 2013

    Agreed, Allie. It sounds like time for some self e-publishing for you!

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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 )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on February 1, 2013 by in Books and tagged , , .
%d bloggers like this: