Query Letters

For some time I’ve known that query letters were good for me. Rather than just something to send to prospective agents, they’re also a good way to analyze my novel and think about how to sell it. It forces me to consider what is most important about the novel and what can fall into the background. If I have trouble making it sound good in a few sentences, it may indicate that the novel needs more work. So I write query letters long before I’m ready to submit. They’re just for me to use during revising.

Another advantage to writing query letters early in the process is that they can also be revised over months, rather than minutes. The end result is a stronger novel and a stronger query letter.

You’ll find many examples of successful query letters online, and many agents say explicitly what they expect in a query letter. Don’t expect all this advice to be consistent. Some of it is contradictory. So I’m not going to add to the clutter by advising you how to write one, only suggest that you start early in the process and get dual use out of it.

Here’s a sample.

Copyright 2021 by Philip Tate