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Structure of a Query Letter
  • The Hook: The hook is the very first line that determines whether the editor will go on and read the complete letter. It is important that the hook is good enough to grab the attention of the editor. For example, "An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities of the present" from The Kite Runner is one the famous hooks.
  • The Pitch: The pitch is the second paragraph and follows the hook. It tells the editor what you have to offer. The pitch has to be brief but should communicate the theme to the editor.
  • The Body: The body is the longest part in the query letter ranging from two to four paragraphs. You need to make the optimal use of this space. The sentences have to be brief and should make the editor imagine the plot.
  • Credentials: Credentials should strictly be restricted to introducing your background. It can be either your educational background or writing experience. Many amateur writers make the mistake of being over the top by telling the editors that they are the best men for the job. Don't declare your genius, leave it for the editor to decide.
  • The Close: The closing should thank the editor for taking his valuable time to review the query letter and should induce the writer to get back to you. Using statements like "Hope to hear from you soon" is advised.

Name:
Address:
Contact Number:
Date:
Agent Name:
XYZ Publishing House
Address:

Dear_____________________(Editor's name)

Introduction:__________________________________________________________

Hook _______________________________________________________________

Pitch _______________________________________________________________

Body _______________________________________________________________

Credentials __________________________________________________________

Thank you for your valuable time. Looking forward to hear from you.

All my best wishes,
Your Name

Once you have submitted your query, you should wait for the specified time as mentioned by the publishing house. Frantic phone calls to the editor will not make your case any stronger. After you have waited for the specified time, allow another week or two before you make a polite phone call. If you still do not get an answer, send a letter informing the editor that as you have received no response you would like to withdraw your query. This way you can submit your query to a different publishing house. Writing an impressive query letter improves the chances of your work getting published to a great extent.