Congratulations! You’ve finished your story, edited it and had your beta readers and critique partners look over your work. You’ve celebrated (hopefully), compiled your manuscript according to industry standards, and are itching to get your work out and move on to the next step.
You feel ready to submit your work to agents, but where do you start? The query letter is often an agent’s first impression of you and your work, but the task can be daunting. You’ve just completed a marathon of a project, but the one page query feels like an even bigger hurdle.
But querying doesn’t have to be scary. Luckily there are some great resources online for crafting the perfect query letter.
When you’re first writing a query letter, it helps to start with a compelling logline. Save the Cat has a great resource for writing loglines here:
If you learn from example, literary agent and young adult author Eric Smith’s website is full of great resources for query letters. One of the most helpful is his list of successful query letters: https://www.ericsmithrocks.com/perfect-pitch
Query Shark looks at reader submitted queries and critiques them: https://queryshark.blogspot.com/
If you prefer learning step by step, Reedsy has a great article on writing a query letter in seven easy steps: https://blog.reedsy.com/guide/how-to-write-a-query-letter/
Jane Friedman reports on the book publishing industry and provides educational content for authors. Her query resource is detailed and helpful. You can find it here:
Jericho Writers also has a great detailed page on query letters, including a template:
If you prefer learning through watching videos, these are great resources for writing your query letter:
Ellen Brock is a professional freelance editor whose Youtube page is full of great resources for writing, editing and you guessed it—query letters. You can find her video on query letters here:
Alexa Donne is a YA Author, founder of the Mentorship program Author Mentor Match, and has a great Youtube channel with resources on writing and the publishing industry. You can watch her video on query letters here:
If you’re an auditory learner, these podcasts are great resources for query writing:
The Shit Noone Tells You about Writing is a great resource. Many of the episodes look over query letters and critique them: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-shit-no-one-tells-you-about-writing/id1530250126
Manuscript Academy is really helpful for understanding queries, especially for their #TenQueries episodes:
Finally, one of the best resources for query writing is your community. Do you have critique partners or beta readers? Send them your query letter and see what they have to say. Don’t forget to send the letter to readers who haven’t read your work. They’ll look at your letter with fresh eyes, just like an agent would.
Remember, you’ve done something great. You’ve written a book! The next step might seem intimidating, but with the right resources, you’ll crush it just like you did the last.