Will Your Query Letter Sell Your Manuscript?

“Will Your Query Letter Sell Your Manuscript?” by Joan Y. Edwards
Does your query letter have what It takes? Does it contain all the components of a good query letter? Does it have all the necessary ingredients? Will your query letter sell your manuscript? Check it out for all the components listed below:
A great query letter:

  1. Contains a great selling pitch that leaves the agent or publisher so moved by the story that they can’t wait to see your full manuscript.
  2. Convinces an editor or agent that they are the right publisher or agent for this book.
  3. Compares 1-3 books published by this publisher or represented by this agent.
  4. Explains why you are the best person to write this story and gives your credentials.
  5. Thanks the editor or agent for considering your work.
  6. Asks the question: “May I send you my manuscript?”
  7. Tells when you expect to hear from them.
  8. Gives name, address, city, state, zip code, phone number, email, websites, and blogs,
  9. Includes a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) when the guidelines ask for one.
  10. Follows the guidelines of the editor or agent.

Here’s my article: “Components of a Good Query Letter.” You might enjoy it: http://joanyedwards.com/components-of-a-good-query-letter/
Thank you for sharing your life with me. Please leave a comment.

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Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
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Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
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8 thoughts on “Will Your Query Letter Sell Your Manuscript?”

  1. Hi-
    Query letters sometimes seem harder to write than the novel itself. I’ve sent out so many query letters and even took a workshop on the famous QL. It really is our sales pitch. Thanks for reminding me of the basics of a query letter. In the end though, it is really your story that will sell your book. That’s why the first five pages are essential and no matter how great your book or query is I don’t think you’ll convince an agent to take you on if they’re not passionate about your work. So maybe the query has to show your own passion for your work. Who knows. It’s all a mystery to me at times.

    1. Dear Carol,
      Thank you for writing. If you write the pitch before you write your story, it seems to make it easier. You are right, your query letter should reflect the passion and the belief in you and your story. The query is the gateway that let’s you into the agent or publisher’s office so they can see a glimpse of the treasure available for their asking. Your pitch has to reflect what really happens in the manuscript. You are right, it is very essential that not just the first five pages, but the whole manuscript reflects the plot in your story. What we have to do is say when we submit: This is the best I can do at this particular time with the knowledge and skills I have at the present time. Keep believing in you and your story. Never Give Up and it will get published.
      Celebrate you and your passion for writing
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

  2. Joan,
    Very helpful list! Thank you for the post.
    #3 is one I cannot say I always have done. I do try to find a way to connect to the publishing company or agent. Sometimes, I’ve met one of the editors, or I’ve met one of the authors with the agency and can make comments that show I believe my work is a good fit. I believe this step takes a lot of research, but it shows you aren’t just sending to any and every one.

    1. Joan, thanks for these great guidelines. Making that personal connection is the key. I found my agent from an interview on someone’s blog and I referenced that in the query. I think that really made the difference.

      1. Dear Linda Phillips,
        Thank you for writing. I appreciate your sharing the importance and how doing Number 3 – showing why you believe you are a good fit with an agent, paid off for you and helped the two of you decide you were right for each other. I am very proud of you and happy for you that you have an agent. What a blessing!
        Never Give Up
        Joan Y. Edwards

    2. Dear Linda,
      Thank you for writing. You are right. Number 3 showing that your manuscript is a good fit for an editor or agent takes a lot of research, yet spotlights a good connection for you with them.
      Thanks for being a loyal follower.
      Celebrate you and your love of writing.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

    1. Dear Carol Baldwin,
      Thanks for writing. It is great that you and your writing group discuss not only manuscripts, but the marketing process including query letters. I am honored that you are going to share my ideas with them. I hope they help you and the others in your writing group gain an agent.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

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