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Query Letter Writing Is An Art Form That Is A Discipline Into Itself

Jun 30th 2014 at 5:22 AM

After you finish writing a manuscript, the next question that arises - what next? Well, it is obvious that you want your literary work to be published, but for that you have to compose a cohesive and organized query letter to a literary agent or to a publishing house. Now, what a query letter?

It can be described as the writer’s cover letter for his/her work, following with an elaborate description on what he/she has to present through the literary work, his/her qualifications and last, but not the least, his/her contact details. Remember, the format and length of query letters can always differ depending on the genre of your literary work and the type of agent to whom it will be sent. Indeed, you have to know how to write a query letter and also, you have to be aware of its aesthetic details when compiling one, whether a literary query letter or a query letter to an organization, etc.

You have to master the craft of formatting a well-represented a literary query letter and unless you do so, your letter will go unnoticed by any literary agent. There are a few rules, which you have to abide by when writing a query letter. Instead of jotting down the necessary information in one big paragraph, it is always advisable to break your letter into four useful paragraphs.

Always start by introducing your contact information in the first paragraph. Then, the second paragraph is more interesting and appealing that hooks one’s attention. It should not be more than a hundred words and spotlights on what the book is all about and what is most unique about your book. The second paragraph carries a glimpse of the content of your book. This adheres to a mini synopsis of your book along with the mention of length, title and genre of the book. This paragraph should not be more than 300 words.

The last or third paragraph talks about the author, his/her publishing credit, awards or contests that he/she has won. This also covers why the person feels that he/she is the best bet for the particular literary agent.

Remember, a literary work can be both fiction and non-fiction. The above describes the query letter for fiction manuscripts. However, for nonfiction books, the author does not need to end up querying a house. Instead, he does an elaborate research and composes a book proposal, which can be as long as twenty pages.

Thus, it can be concluded that a literary query letter needs the right format, your ideas and discipline to ensure that it becomes a worthy letter to an agent.

About the Company: is a nonprofit literary journal dedicated to nurturing new and established writers. They publish exceptional works, offer free, professional edits, provide up-to-date publishing resources, and host a lively global community of writers, readers, and editors.

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