In the modern world, we have lost touch with written language. The history of written language is long but has not lost its significance. Written language has always been important in businesses, legal matters, publications, and educational purposes.
It is part of our communication and it also allows the writers to preserve and send a message throughout time and space.
People are still writing books and a lot of the writers have different unique ideas about their books. To explain the idea and everything about it, writers send a query letter to editors to share their ideas.
It is imperative to learn how to write a query letter, what kind of format you need to follow, and what it represents. A query letter can be from 300-500 words and it gives a piece of summarized information about the topic of the work along with a short bio of the author. A short description of the plot – idea.and the target audience.
A query letter must be written in a way that makes the editors consider your idea and contact you for the manuscript. To summarize, a query letter is the first and the basic step of the author toward getting his work published.
Here is everything you need to know about the query letter.
What Is A Query Letter?
A query letter as described above is a 300-500 word piece of formal writing that intends to pitch the editor for specific writing. For example, you are a writer and you have this idea about a novel that has different characters and delivers a message and you want to publish it.
You will write a query letter to the editor of a publishing agency or publishing house explaining yourself and your idea – the plot, a summary, and anything that makes it the best idea.
You send it to the editor and based on that letter, the editor will then ask you for a manuscript, and eventually, you will get the green light to start properly working on your book. It is the first step you take when you want to publish your book.
Why Is It Important?
Your query letter is your best chance to get your piece published. This is why you need to get it right. Your query letter is your chance to impress the editors with your idea – it is just like a sales pitch or investor’s pitch that a startup makes to impress the investor.
The query letter is important because no editor has enough time to read all the manuscripts sent to him, that is why you send a query letter and try to impress him so that he can consider asking you for a manuscript. This letter will let the editor know if your idea is worth publishing or not.
What Makes A Query Letter Worth Considering?
You need to understand that a query letter is not an informal letter or just text – it must be professional and formal. The format should be perfect and your opening line should hook the editor in such a way that he reads the whole letter.
Mention your address at the right top of the page and the address of the editor to the left. Always use a personalized greeting and acknowledge the editor by his/her name.
Don’t write everything in a single paragraph, instead use three to four line paragraphs to make it easily readable and every sentence should provide value to the editor and make him/her think that you are a professional writer not someone from the streets.
Your opening paragraph must be well written and it must hook the editor. Mention if you have any experience or connection with the editor (met him/her at a seminar, conference, or fan of his/her work)
The hook must be written in such a way that it makes the editor keep reading. Mention the title of your book and the genre. It is also important to mention the expected word count as it is among the most important tidbits of your query letter. Mention what makes your story interesting and one of a kind.
What Will The Editors Be Looking For?
Before writing a query letter you must know what your editor will be looking for in your query letter. Various things make the editor interested in your idea or make them consider your manuscript. The first thing you need to know is that your book must be finished and by finished it means written to the end.
This is important if you are writing Fiction whereas Nonfiction must be well-developed and convincing. Different editors represent different genres, you cannot send your query letter to every editor you find – you must decide based on the genre they represent.
Your book must also fit the taste in tone and style – just like movies – different directors make different but specific types of movies. Like if you have a movie idea, and it is about time, your best shot is to pitch Christopher Nolan as he is famous for the movies about time.
Your query letter must also show your professionalism, well-formatted, word count, well-developed, and without any grammatical mistakes.
Keep your word count reasonable, neither too short nor too long. This will also make your book boring and most people like short or medium-sized books from 100 to 300 pages. If it is a novel, it must be written completely, if it is non-fiction you must have a basic layout of what the book is about and where it is going.
Do Query Letters Still Work?
Yes, query letters work, but you must consider them as part of a larger strategy that is founded on this: Your scripts. A query letter can be the finest in the world, but if the narrative premise and execution on the page are not fantastic, that’s a pass.
So, first and foremost, develop compelling tale themes. Create scripts based on those compelling tale ideas. Gather comments and revise the scripts till they are in the best possible form. Then, just to be sure, make one more pass.
While some individuals find the process of creating a query letter intimidating, once you get the hang of it, you will find it rather straightforward. Consider the things mentioned above to make things simpler for you.