Updated: Jan 16, 2021
Being an author is about more than just writing a book. But once you do write it you have ask yourself, do I need a query letter? This is something that everyone who finishes a manuscript has to ask themselves. However, in order to answer this question you must first decide on your publishing path. DO you want to go traditional or would you prefer to self publish?
If you said, "I'm going to self publish," then read no further, because you will not need a query letter. However, if you said "I'm going traditional," then read on!
You're going to hear and read a lot of different things about query letters because everyone has their own opinion and approach, this is mine.
A query can be a really tough thing to write, especially if it's your first one, but if you're anything like me then a formula will help you get past that. In college I I loved the Professor that would lay out the assignment for me, telling me exactly what they wanted and how.
So, when it came time to write my own query I knew i needed a formula to follow.
The picture I attached here is the one I have printed and keep on hand to use because it lays it out for me. It shows me exactly what to put in and where. Though I will say that I made one change to it. I put comparative titles in the first paragraph so that the agent or publisher you are querying knows right away the kinds of readers my book will appeal to by referring to the list of similar titles.
I have used this format for every query letter I've written (5 total) and of those I have received three full manuscript requests, one which led to my publishing contract and the other two I chalk up to not being a good enough fit.
So if you are taking part in Nanowrimo and need to write a query letter in the next few months, this is a good format to follow. BTW this came from Salt and Sage books, it's part of their How-to Series on How to Write a Query Letter. Hope it brings you as much luck as it's brought me.