Martin Cavannagh of Reedsy has been a busy, busy boy, creating a post about writing the query letter. Writing a query letter is harder than writing a novel. I mean, day-yum. If I could have told my story in a paragraph, I would have written a flash fiction. It took me a novel’s worth of words to tell the story, yeah?
Sadly, this post doesn’t tell you how to condense 100,000 words (or however many) into 250 or so, but it’s still a great guide through that tiny little patch of paralyzing thorns that is the query letter.
It’s also a pitch for Reedsy’s query letter review, which can set you back $50-$150 smackers. I would suggest that, if you want to take advantage — if that’s the term I’m looking for — of this service, isolate the bits that won’t change and put them in a boilerplate file: the genre, word count, and title, the hook, the synopsis, your publishing credits or credentials. You may want to send out more than one query letter on the same novel, and you don’t want to mess yourself up by cutting-and-pasting something personalized for one agent or publisher into a letter to a different one. ~cough cough~
Martin’s article includes a downloadable query letter infographic. Thanks, Martin!
A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: Write a query letter for your book or work-in-progress. OR write a query letter for your favorite book by somebody else, just for practice.