I think one of the challenges of being an author is presenting an outstanding query to the editor or publisher. How do you know what to include? Should you omit this, or add that? It can be so confusing, especially after you've spent months or years polishing your manuscript. It can be difficult to concentrate on this part of the process. Here are some suggestions for you.
Recommended things to do:
1. Letterhead with your information on it.
2. The date
3. Editor’s data, including name and address
4. Greeting-be sure it’s professional-Dear Ms. A, Dear Mr- Or Dear Sam---
It’s okay to add: (If these things apply)
1. Where you heard about the editor.
2. Did you read an essay that he/she wrote?
3. What did you think about their essay, or article?
4. You may comment on a recent tweet of theirs that you read.
5. You may mention a book of theirs if it’s recently published.
Time to get his/her attention:
1. Does your work have a memorable theme?
2. You can start with a captivating quote from your book.
3. Do you have an opening that would peak his/her interest?
4. Does your article or book relate to an important anniversary or holiday?
5. Offer more details about your work, such as the genre. Is it best for children, middle grade, young adult, etc?
6. Find something in your book or article that would prove it shouldn’t be dismissed. This would be a great place to add a quote from your book that would set it apart from other stories.
Here’s an example from my book, Tails of Sweetbrier: (Closing)“Suppose your friends say you can’t do something. Kick those thoughts out of your head. If my parents had listened to the doctor who said I would never walk, think what I would have missed. I wouldn’t have learned to ride or jump. I wouldn’t have known Peach. We wouldn’t have become champions together. You have the power to make your dreams come true so reach for them and don’t accept anything less.”
Now you know what to do to create an amazing query letter that will be irresistible to the editor!
(c) Deanie Humphrys-Dunne 2013