7 Steps to Writing A Book Publishing Query Letter
- Book Proposal - Complete a book proposal for
a non-fiction book. Ensure it is impeccable in format and content.
Clearly ouline how your book project offers something new and
differentiates from other books in the same genre already on the
- Agents List - You can find a list of agents
online, in bookstores or at the library. Select 30 agents that
have sold books similar to yours - and are still selling them.
Get the agents name, phone number and preferred method of contact
- Confirm the Contact - Call each of these agents.
Tell them you are a potential author and ask if they have 2 mintue
to answer a couple of questions.
- Is [NAME OF AGENT] still the correct agent for book on [SUBJECT].
Female agents surnames can often change due to changes in
- Is the email address / mailing address [ADDRESS] still correct.
Thank them and hang up, unless they initiate asking you questions.
- Write Query - a 2-3 concise paragraphs starting
with what you feel you can do for them - That you can provide
them with a book about a currently hot topic [quote stats] for
example, my book "The Logical Organization" refers to
using business intelligence to make better decisions. I have proven,
independent authorative research that over 85% of executives believe
that most decisions made in corporate America are made with insufficient
information. If your book relates to a medical condition such
as obesity - get the stats on how many Americans suffer from it,
and the impact it has on their lives.
If you have impressive credentials, and ONLY if, you may refer
to these. For instance, I have been a corporate performance
consultant for over 20 years - so I have a pretty good idea
as to how decisions are being made today and what tools and
methodologies are or are not used.
ADD as the closing para - "This is a multiple submission.
A SASE is enclosed for your response. I look forward to hearing
from you promptly."
The Agent wants to know only 3 things:
- Can they sell the book
- To which publisher
- For how much
Thats it - so only give them what they want. They dont want
to know that it was inspired by your dog Shabby, who went ape
when you whatever!! Remember - most agents get hundreds of queries
a week - so give them the facts and back away.
- Send the Query - Email / Mail the agent using
their name [not Sir/Madam]. If you are mailing a physical address,
add a stamped address envelope suitable for their response and
the return of your material.
- Follow Up After 6 weeks - Do not call to follow
up on a query earlier than this. Anyone who hasn't responded in
that time isn't interested, or is too busy to help you.
on Writing Book Proposals
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