Give it to Me Short n’ Dirty: Bulletpoint Query Tips (III)

This post by Saundra Mitchell originally appeared on her Making Stuff Up For A Living blog on 1/26/14.

Maybe you don’t feel like reading an essay about queries. Why would you? You need to get one written, RIGHT NOW OMFG EMERGENCY NOW NOW NOW. Okay, yo. Cool. I can give you a short n’ dirty query bulletpoint list so that you can skim it real fast and get back to work.

– A query letter is a BUSINESS LETTER. If you’re sending it by postal mail, format it exactly like your standard business letter. That link there will take you to Purdue University’s guide.

– If by e-mail, you’re going to start with the salutation and leave out all contact information with your signature except your name, your e-mail address, and your URL.

– WRITE IT LIKE A BUSINESS LETTER. Don’t print it on sparkly paper, don’t enclose confetti, don’t scent it with your favorite Axe spray, don’t. Don’t enclose food, bugs, hair, MONEY, character family tree– seriously. The only thing that goes in that envelope is the letter and SASE.

– WRITE IT LIKE A BUSINESS LETTER. Do not attach documents, pictures, totally cute cat JPGs, no GIFs, do not doge or lolcat the subject line, do not ask people to follow links to your query letter which is elsewhere, do not ask them to read the book that’s posted on your website.

– WRITE IT LIKE A BUSINESS LETTER. Don’t tell the agent about your aunt Suzie or how much your kids like your book. Nobody cares.

– Do tell them if Oprah Winfrey personally promised to endorse your book and include her assistant’s e-mail address so they can verify that.


Read the full post on Making Stuff Up For A Living.