Today, I thought I would share the letter I use to send to literary agents and publishers when they don’t have a program for me to fill in my details. I send this letter in the body of an email because many literary agents and publishers are no longer asking for anything to be sent to them in the mail.
The first thing to do is look at their requirements and always adhere to them. The body of the letter should be 300 words.
To: [insert the publishers/literary agents email address]
Subject: [some publishers/literary agents have strict guidelines as to what to put in the subject line so make sure you do what is required.] Otherwise, I would put: [Query/publisher or agent’s name you are querying/name of your novel/your name]
The Editor [or person’s name if you know it]
Via Email: [insert email address]
Dear Sir/Madam [or the person’s name]
I am currently seeking [traditional publication/representation of a literary agent for my novel], [insert title]. Given your interest in this genre, I thought that my novel might be a good fit for your list.
Complete at [insert number] words, [insert title] tells the story of [insert a brief sentence or two about your book, not a paragraph]. [N.B. Sometimes they may ask for three books that are similar to yours so that information would go in here.]
[Now tell them a bit about yourself. Have you won any awards, self-published or been published in any magazines, literary journals, or anthologies? Are you on social media, do you blog or have an author website? If so let them know.]
I have attached [my manuscript/the first 5 pages/chapter – i.e., whatever they have asked for.] I believe in the story I have written, and I hope that you do too.
I look forward to hearing from you.
[type your name and if you have a pen name write it underneath your name.]
I hope the above information helps. If it does, please let me know. It’s the best feeling when someone replies with an agreement for you to look at and sign because they like what you’ve written. My debut novel, The Complexities of Love is coming out in the second half of 2021. You can check out my author page here: https://www.5310publishing.com/quigley.