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The Perfect Query Letter Examples
March 10, 2014
Example One
Dear Silver Leaf Editors:

I am submitting a proposal for the first book, Betraying the God of Light, in a fantasy trilogy called Endless War of the Gods. I am a big Clifford B. Bowyer fan and followed his work to you in the belief that my story will complement his.

Word Count: 90,754
Page Count: 281
Word Formatting: Times New Roman, 12 Point Font, Double-spaced

Unique Appeal: Endless War of the Gods is an epic battle between the God of Light and the God of Dark, but rather than the light representing good and dark representing evil, both possess good and evil qualities. Their obsession with killing one another will eventually destroy the entire world unless the peaceful God of Nature intervenes. THIS SENTENCE DESCRIBES BOOK’S ENDING.

Original Character: Malla, a human female, lives in the land of the God of Light. She initially accepts her subordinate status to men and her main purpose of serving her abusive husband. However, when she becomes the first human able to control magical sun energy, she rejects her inferior status. THIS SENTENCE DESCRIBES WHAT HAPPENS TO MALLA AT THE END OF THE BOOK.

Included in this submission: Series Synopsis
Book 1 Synopsis
Book 2 Synopsis and status
Book 3 Synopsis and status Author Information
Marketing Plan
Writing Sample

Due to your commitment to work with authors during the entire publication process, Silver Leaf Books is the perfect publisher for me. I am very hands-on and will work just as hard at publishing the entire series as I have in writing it. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,


Jared Angel

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2) Notice my use of a colon instead of a comma. While most agents/publishers will not care which one you use, the colon is more formal.
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3) I had read and enjoyed Clifford’s books, so I used him to personalize my letter.
4) While all agents/publishers need to know the word count, the page number and font used is specific to Silver Leaf’s guidelines. Do not include this information for other agents/publishers. It’s also better to include the page count in the introduction paragraph.
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5) Manuscript blurb paragraph 1 with subtitle; this paragraph can be the same for every agent/publisher
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6) Sorry, couldn’t include the real sentence I used here; don’t want to give away the ending!
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7) Manuscript blurb paragraph 2 with subtitle; this paragraph can be the same for every agent/publisher
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8) This section is required by Silver Leaf and should not be included for other agents/publishers
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9) There is no bio or visibility paragraph in this letter because Silver Leaf requires them as separate documents. See the other example.
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10) Closing paragraph only three sentences
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11 & 12) These were phrases I took from their website and submission guidelines. Personalize this for every agent/publisher
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13) Some people will try to use “Sincerely yours” or other less formal phrases, but I wanted to be as formal as possible.
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14) After your name, it is a good idea to include a website address if you have one. I didn’t at the time of my submission, but it is a great and easy way for agents/publishers to get to know you a little better.
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1) I couldn’t find a specific contact, so I used Silver Leaf Editors to personalize the salutation
Example Two
Dear Ms. Contact:

I am submitting a proposal for the first book, Betraying the God of Light (90,865 words), in a fantasy trilogy called Endless War of the Gods. I recently became enamored with BOOK NAME by AUTHOR NAME and followed her to you in the belief that you and her readers will enjoy my work as much as hers.

Unique Appeal: Endless War of the Gods is an epic battle between the God of Light and the God of Dark, but rather than the light representing good and dark representing evil, both possess good and evil qualities. Their obsession with killing one another will eventually destroy the entire world unless the peaceful God of Nature intervenes. THIS SENTENCE DESCRIBES BOOK’S ENDING.

Original Character: Malla, a human female, lives in the land of the God of Light. She initially accepts her subordinate status to men and her main purpose of serving her abusive husband. However, when she becomes the first human able to control magical sun energy, she rejects her inferior status. THIS SENTENCE DESCRIBES WHAT HAPPENS TO MALLA AT THE END OF THE BOOK.

Personal Statement: My master’s research at the New School for Social Research in New York explored the role of identity in politics. I currently teach International Relations at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies in Japan. Using my two decades worth of research and teaching, I deconstruct international conflicts as well as notions of gender and race in my writing.

Sales Point: In addition to any novel of mine being publicized on my campus, I will be able to actively promote my work at seminars, book signings and all other promotions. I teach classes only eight months a year, so am completely free during February, March, August and September.

I have attached the first three chapters of Betraying the God of Light. I am excited about the possibility of working with PUBLISHER NAME in making my story come to life. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,


Jared Angel
1) I used the exact contact name listed on the website of this publisher
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2) This is how I included the page count for most submissions.
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3) After visiting this publisher’s website, I found a book that I wanted to read. I purchased it and enjoyed it, so included the book’s name and author in my query letter. Obviously you cannot do this for every agent/publisher, so the sentence could be something like above: Readers will enjoy my work as much as they enjoy AUTHOR’S NAME THAT HAS SIMILAR WORK TO YOURS.
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4) The Unique Appeal and Original Character paragraphs are exactly the same as in example one
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5) Bio paragraph with subtitle. In three sentences, I pick three points about my history that link directly to my writing. My love of scuba diving is completely irrelevant to my writing so I did not include it.
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6) Visibility/Marketability paragraph with subtitle. In two sentences I show how I will be active in promoting my novel.
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7) This was used on their website in their description about what they do as a company.
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