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One of the many reasons I freak out during querying time has to do with perfecting my query letter. I’ve written seven novels and therefore drafted seven query letters. Some of them never saw the light of day (because I never ended up querying the project), but I still felt the angst of shrinking a 75-85,000 word manuscript down to a measly 250 words…all while keeping the voice, tension, conflict, and world-building essentials.
Over the almost three years I’ve been writing, I have accumulated many tips that I find are ESSENTIAL, so I’ve decided to list them for you.
- Address the letter to Dear Agent
- Alternatively, use their first name
- Don’t bother giving the word count or genre; the agent will figure that out based on your letter
- BEG them to read your work–bribing with chocolate or money helps
- Use fancy, hard to read fonts and bright colors
- Attach your full manuscript to the equery
- Send your letter to ten agents at a time as a group email
- Don’t worry about typos–they’re not that big a deal
- Give a detailed resume, especially of non-writing related things so the agent knows you’re well-rounded
- Be as vague as possible–it creates mystery
- Tell them the ending so there are no surprises
- Write the query letter as if it’s the main character talking
Did I miss any?