A query letter is a one-page letter to a lit agent that is asking them to please, please, PLEASE, request to read your manuscript. Except you can’t ask like that. You have to ask like this:
Here is a catchy paragraph about my character and my plot’s hook that needs to pique your interest.
Then there’s this paragraph that sums up my entire book. In a paragraph.
Here are the details like title, word count and why I think people will like to read it based on my own comparisons to similar works in the same genre.
Finally, here’s a little bit about me. And if I am able to mention specifically why I chose you to query, I’ll do it here, too.
Thank you for considering a look at my manuscript.
Guess what, y’all? I wrote one of those. I would share it here, but I think that might be a bad idea. Why would an agent bother requesting my manuscript if they thought other agents might have seen the same query letter on here and requested it already? That might be a bit presumptuous on my part, but instead I’m thinking it’s a better-safe-than-sorry decision.
I will tell you this, though: writing that letter was HARD. Summing up a whole book in a paragraph? Making it interesting without giving anything away? Sounding like I know what the hell I’m talking about? Not easy. And it took hours. HOURS!
But, it’s done, and that’s a victory. It also means that the time has come. The first queries are going out next week. This is equal parts wonderful and terrifying. It’s wonderfying.