Quick Link: Why Did I Get a ‘No’? – The Do’s and Don’ts of Query Letter Writing

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Today’s offering is from Mark Gottlieb posting at Elizabeth Spann Craig and gives you hints and tips on query letter writing. Enjoy!

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Why Did I Get a ‘No’? – The Do’s and Don’ts of Query Letter Writing

by Mark Gottlieb

As a literary agent in major trade publishing at the Trident Media Group literary agency, I often have to explain the elements of a good query letter to new clients. This article is intended as a description of what goes into a good query letter, for new authors unfamiliar with what literary agents and editors are looking for in a query letter intended the book-publishing world. For a writer who might be currently querying literary agents, or even contemplating that process, this might be interesting reading. Considering the high rejection rate in the book publishing industry for writers trying to become debut authors, this article will hopefully be enlightening for the countless writers who are experiencing rejection due to a poorly-constructed query letter.

A lot of authors dread writing query letters. I know many authors who can write a novel in a matter of months, but who could endlessly spend years toiling over writing a query letter. My advice to authors along the querying process is to really nail the writing of that query letter. A query letter that reads well is usually a good indication to the literary agent that the manuscript will similarly read well, inclining the literary agent to request a manuscript. Often the query letter can go on to become the publisher’s jacket copy, were the publisher to acquire the manuscript via the literary agent.

The Do’s

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