– Richard Martin, AuthorsCast.com
David Graff had been an editor at Crown Publishing and was working as an independent editor when I attended his “The First Five Pages” panel at the Associated Writing Programs Conference. In contacting an agent, Graff said the query letter should answer these questions:
- What’s the book about?
- Who’s the book by. Publishers want to publish authors (people).
- What other books are like yours? What tradition is your book in?
- Who would read your book? What “groups” will be interested?
- What about the book is new, interesting and fascinating, making it different from similar books (perhaps through your voice or humor or unique vision)?
- The query letter should be shorter than 200 words.
- Those words must entice an agent/editor to spend a year of their life on your book.
- Drafting a query letter can be a good way to envision the book. But the book needs to be well planned if not finished before querying an agent.
This post’s videos provide great information. That said, all advice offered here should be considered: General Tips. Agents’ web sites will present their specific requirements.
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