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Bob Nailor

How To Write A Query Letter

A query letter is your introduction to catch the attention of an agent or editor - people who can be instrumental in getting your work published. While a query letter should be brief, it should also be detailed and leave the reader wanting to see your complete article or manuscript.


The following is void and null if the publisher or agent has stringent guidelines available for you to use to submit to him/her.

Tips & Warnings

* If you're pitching an idea to a magazine, make sure the tone fits the magazine. Buy several issues and read them from cover to cover so you have a good grasp of what the publication is looking for.

* Magazines are always interested in articles that are accompanied by pictures. If you have photos, let the editor know this fact, but don't send them with the query letter unless they are requested. Send copies, never send originals.

* You might want to offer a few different options on how the story could be written without getting too broad in your range of choices. A couple of options may work for the editor in case a single approach doesn't.

* If you're pushing a novel, make sure you have it written completely and it has been fully proofed and edited professionally. Very few publishers are interested in novels to be written, they want a finished product.

* Avoid submitting the same idea to several publications simultaneously unless you inform everyone involved. Some publications won't read simultaneous submissions.

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Elyse Salpeter
And first and foremost - make sure the person you are submitting to actually represents the category your book is!
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