Friday, July 29, 2011

The Risky Business of Querying Agents & Publishers

Writing a query letter in an attempt to get an agent or publisher to read your manuscript is like negotiating a minefield—one  false step and it's all over.

The best approach is to be brief and businesslike. Open with a hook, summarize what the book is about, state the genre and word count, identify the market, say a few words about yourself and what qualifies you to write this book, and indicate whether the manuscript is complete. Note that for novels and literary nonfiction, a finished manuscript is required—it is a waste of your own time and that of others to shop around an idea or partial manuscript.

To avoid making the worst kinds of querying mistakes, take note of the practical advice at: and

For my own spin on the same theme, see "How to Be Rejected by Agents & Publishers" or watch the video version...

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