A book query letter can land you a book deal or simply be lost in an overwhelming amount of emails, already sent to book publishers. This post should help you understand what book publishers are looking for and how to land a book deal with a book publisher. Make sure to do a little research about the publisher. Most publisher specify what they want you to include in your query letter.
The first thing that might go against your query letter is the fact that it is full of errors. A professional editor should look over your proposal to check for typos, misspelled words, subject verb agreement, comma splices and so on. Next make sure your letter is addressed to the right person. Do some research on the company and find out what genres they are taking. Then, include a paragraph or two describing your manuscript. In this paragraph, include title of book, word count, genre, and why you think your manuscript would sell. This is the time to stand out amongst the crowd and pitch your manuscript. Then, include a paragraph or two about your manuscript called a book blurb. Make it unique and attractive to the publisher. Think of it as what you would see on the back cover, that attracts readers. Last of all, write a short biography about yourself including previous works. Make sure the publisher can contact you about your manuscript —leave a contact email address, phone numbers, etc…
When sending a query letter, the publisher wants to know that you have done your research. Now is not the time to start making demands and asking lots of questions. Wait until the publisher decides to publish your manuscript, then you can ask the questions that haven’t been covered already on their website. Most publishers have a Q and A page with details about their company.
Here are some definite Do Not’s:
- Do not make demands to the Publisher.
- Do not criticize the Publisher
- Do not forget to tell what the book is about
- Do not be unprofessional in your approach
- Do not refuse to send items the publisher request
- Do not ask too many questions about what the publisher can do for you.
- Do not send an unfinished letter without all the details the publisher requires.
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