Anonymous asked: I’d like to know the specifics of what goes into a query letter, and if that should be the very first thing I send to an agency? Thank you.

For your pleasure, a smorgasbord of links on the wide world of queries and agents! But first, what are these things?

Query letter (n): a single page cover letter, introducing you and your book.
Agent (n): a professional who represents writers and their written works to publishers and assists in the sale and deal negotiation of the work.

It is important to understand both queries and agents if you’re interested in publishing your material. Queries are indeed how you first reach out to agents, and here are a bunch of things to consider in the process.

That’s a start, at least. Like all things in writing, querying agents involves a lot of research and a lot of revision, but if you’ve made it through a whole novel, you’re probably up for that task. Or, as Pat Walsh put it in his book 78 Reasons Why Your Book Will Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might:

The single biggest reason good writers with good books have trouble finding an agent is they submit queries and samples before they are ready. The elation of typing “The End” seems to inspire writers to slap on a cover letter and hit the post office, not wanting to wait another moment to begin their careers. It’s the wrong thing to do, and premature submissions can have long-lasting ill effects.

Thanks for the question; if there’s anything you want to know about writing, send us a message!

- O

DON’T PANIC


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