Top 3 Tips for Starting your Query Letter off with a Bang
Lots of people come to me in the final stages of their writing with question about query letters. Oh, the elusive query letter! It sure can be tricky!
This is a topic I’ve studied extensively, and I had the good fortune of landing in agent in my first round of sending out query letters. Here are my
top 3 tips for starting your query letter off with a bang.
1. Introduce your piece first, not yourself.
Sad to say, but the agent doesn’t care about you, until he cares about your piece. Start with a hook that will draw the agent into the problem that is the main thrust of your piece, the truth behind it all. Give a synopsis of your piece.
2. Be specific as possible.
Don’t use general terms like “Despite struggles the character achieved many accomplishments.” That’s too general. Tell us they fought down a bear or lived on the streets. Tell us they earned millions selling baseball caps or earned the nobel prize in chemistry.
3. Consistency of voice between letter and piece.
Use the same vocabulary and tone in the query letter as you used in the work you’re trying to sell. This gives the agent a sense of the style the piece will be in. This is why it’s important that you write your own query letter, rather than having it written for you. No one likes the bait and switch.
Stay tuned for tips on how to finish off the letter, and please let me know how these tips work for you. I always love hearing from you.