Literary agent Federcia Leonardis offers some handy dos and don'ts on writing a cover letter to accompany your manuscript submission. In preparing for a How to Hook an Agent event I got to thinking about the sort of things that put me off in a manuscript submission, and how so many of these things can be avoided by the writer with a bit of care.
A query letter that reads well is usually a good indication to the literary agent that the manuscript will similarly read well, inclining the literary agent to request a manuscript. Often the query letter can go on to become the publisher’s jacket copy, were the publisher to acquire the manuscript via the literary agent.
Below is a sample cover letter (otherwise known as a query letter) sent by an aspiring writer to a literary agent. In this case, the first-time author had a connection to the agent. Because of this, and because agents are very busy people, the writer kept the letter brief and to the point.
If you write fiction, check out our collection of 23 fiction query letter that actually worked. If you have an actual nonfiction PROPOSAL that worked, we’d love to share that as well at some.
Far too often, the query letter to a literary agent is treated as a personal letter. This is often a critical mistake that will lead to a rejection. When you’re pitching a story to a literary agent, you’re pitching the idea of forming a business relationship with you. This means you don’t need to tell your life story.
How to Write a Query Letter. After a manuscript is finished, many writers face a harrowing question: what’s next? The next step on the road to becoming published is to compose a well-constructed and cohesive query letter to an agent or small publishing house.
Near the bottom of each query you’ll find a link to the author’s website and a link to buy the book the query is for. I hope these samples take some of the fear and doubt away so you can get that letter finished and put your best foot forward. After all, if you don’t send out a query, that story is never going to see the light of day.
Aug 4, 2016 - If you're going the traditional publishing route, meaning that you want to land a literary agent and want your novel pitched to big-NYC publishing houses, then you have to learn how to write a query letter. This is probably even more important of a task than actually writing your novel.