How to Write a Query Letter for Your Novel: Template & Examples

Do you have a novel that's just begging to be published? Are you struggling to write a query letter that will make literary agents take notice? Worry no more! In this blog post, we will provide you with an example query letter template that you can use as a guide.

We'll also give you some tips on how to write a query letter that will make agents sit up and take notice. Query letter writing doesn't need to be a daunting task, at all!

How To Write A Query Letter For Your Novel: Template & Examples

What You Need To Know About Query Letters

Sending a query letter to literary agents can be a daunting task, but it is important to remember that agents are looking for interesting and well-written projects. To increase the chances of getting your letter read, it is essential to do your research and send your letter to the right agent.

Start by finding the specific guidelines for submitting a query letter to that agent. Then, take the time to read about the agent and their interests. This will help you to customize your letter and increase the chances that the agent will be interested in your project.

Finally, be sure to proofread your letter carefully before sending it off. By taking the time to do your homework, you can increase the chances of getting your query letter read and potentially landing a book deal!

  • A query letter is a short letter sent to literary agents in an effort to secure representation.
  • The letter should be no more than one page and include a brief summary of the work, a brief biographical sketch of the author, and contact information.
  • The goal of the query letter is to pique the interest of the literary agent and encourage them to request additional materials, such as a synopsis or sample chapters.
  • There is no one formula for writing a successful query letter, however, there are a few key elements that should be included in order to give your letter the best chance of success.

How Do You Write a Query Letter? Key Elements Of A Successful Query Letter

When you sit down to write your query letter, there are a few key elements that you should include in order to make sure that your letter is successful.

These elements are:

  • A brief summary of your novel
  • A brief biographical sketch of the author
  • Contact information

Before tackling these key elements, however, you need to nail the introduction. A good query letter introduction example would be to begin by addressing the literary agent by name. I cannot stress this enough; please do your research and make sure that you are addressing the query to the correct agent.

Next, you want to grab the agent's attention with your first sentence. This is your chance to hook them and make them want to keep reading. Your opening sentence should be punchy and give a brief overview of your novel and then go on to address the other elements. You also want to make sure you are submitting your letter in the medium that the agent has specified; if they only accept queries via email, be sure to follow the correct email query letter format.

Now, let's take a closer look at each of these elements in turn.

A Brief Summary Of Your Novel

The first thing that you need to include in your query letter is a brief summary of your novel. This summary should be no more than one paragraph and should give the agent a general idea of what your novel is about.

You don't need to give away too much information here, just enough to pique the agent's interest and make them want to know more.

Brief Summary For Query Letter Template

My novel, [title], is a [genre] novel about [main character] who must [goal]. Along the way, [main character] encounters [obstacle], which threatens to derail their plans. However, with the help of their friends, they are able to overcome this obstacle and achieve their goal. The novel is [length] long and is appropriate for readers aged [age range].

I believe that readers will enjoy this novel because it is both exciting and heartwarming. Additionally, the themes of determination and friendship will resonate with many readers.

A Brief Biographical Sketch Of The Author

A Brief Biographical Sketch Of The Author

The next thing you need to include in your query letter is a brief biographical sketch of the author. This short paragraph should give the agent some information about you and your writing experience.

In this section, you should discuss any relevant education or training you have received and any previous publications or awards you have received. You should also mention any relevant work experience you have, such as working as a journalist or blogger.

Finally, be sure to mention any personal connection you have to the topic of your book. For example, if you're writing a memoir about your experience with addiction, be sure to mention that in this section. By including this information up front, you'll give the agent a better sense of who you are and what your novel is about.

Brief Biographical Sketch For Query Letter Template

I am a [profession] and have been writing for [number of years] years. I have a degree in [subject] from [university], and my work has been published in [publication]. In addition to my writing experience, I also have [work experience]

I am passionate about writing and believe that my novel will resonate with many readers. I am confident that I have the skills and experience necessary to write a successful book and would be grateful for the opportunity to work with you.

Contact Information

The final thing you need to include in your query letter is your contact information. This should include your name, email address, and phone number. You may also want to include your mailing address, although this is not required.

If you have a website or blog, you may also want to include links to these in your query letter. Including this information will make it easy for the agent to get in touch with you - you want as little friction as possible in this process!

Make Sure You Stand Out From The Crowd

Make Sure You Stand Out From The Crowd

Before you write your query letter, it is important to take some time to think about what you want to include. As well as summarizing the plot of your book in one or two sentences and focusing on the most important aspects of your story, you also want to think about how you can present yourself and your work in a way that comes across as fresh, honest, and intriguing.

It is also important to focus on what you can say to get an agent to want to read more. Finally, you want to make sure that you come across as a professional. This means avoiding anything that might make you seem desperate or braggy. Instead, focus on presenting your book as a product that an agent can see the marketing potential in.

How Long Should a Query Letter Be?

This will depend greatly on the medium, but generally, for a novel, a query letter should be no more than one page long. 

If you're sending a query letter for a screenplay, include the first ten pages of your script as an attachment. If you're submitting for a TV show, include a pilot episode script as an attachment.

A screenplay query letter will also be a little longer, as you'll need to include a synopsis of your story.

How Do You Write a Query Letter for A Children's Book?

How Do You Write A Query Letter For A Children's Book?

When it comes to writing a query letter for a children's book, the most important thing is to keep it short and sweet. Begin by introducing yourself and your book in one or two sentences. Then, provide a brief synopsis of the plot, including the main characters and conflict.

Finally, conclude with a sentence or two about why you believe your book would be a good fit for their agency or publishing house.

Remember to keep the language simple and avoid using jargon. The goal is to give the reader enough information to pique their interest without overwhelming them.

Download A Ready-Made Query Letter Template

If you need a bit more assistance, you could always download a query letter template. These templates will provide you with a ready-made structure of successful query letter examples, which can be helpful if you're not sure how to write a good query letter or where to start.

Finally, if you want to browse through some successful queries, take a look at this page - there is a compilation of them!