Effective Query Letters

Agent shopping. The very idea shakes writers to their cores. Yet if you write fiction, an agent is very likely a key stop on the road to publication. A good query letter is an important start when you begin that search. If this is your first time to seek representation by a literary agent, you may be petrified. You’ve probably heard that your query letter must be not only short but perfect. You’ve heard that writers spend weeks, months even years (You know who you are!) perfecting this tool. How can you craft an effective query letter without having a nervous breakdown?
Writing Tip for Today: Good queries start out with drafts, just like the rest of your writing. Try to draft one with 3 key paragraphs: About the book, About the business/marketing and About You. The three paragraphs do not need to be of equal length. Don’t worry if your draft is too long. In the “About the book” paragraph, think only about the story’s main plot points or BIG events. No need to describe supporting characters or view points, or subplots. If you can write a succinct 150 word paragraph (you may want to look at back cover blurbs on published books) you are 2/3 of the way home. Don’t delay. Write that (draft) query letter today.

For my Christian readers: Check out my guest post on, http://dailysignsofhope.com/?p=807 where I talk about addiction, family and the dangerous God.

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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