Need help submitting your writing to literary journals or book publishers/literary agents? Click here! →

Category Archives: Query Letters

11 Things Writers Forget To Include In Their Query Letters To Literary Agents | Writer’s Relief

A query letter for a literary agent has so many important parts—from the first line, to the book blurb, to the author bio, to the closing lines. With so much information to manage, it’s no wonder many writers forget critical elements of their book query letters!

Writer’s Relief Reviews The Most Common Things Writers Forget In Query Letters

Word count: Remembering your word count is Query Letter Writing 101. Query 102 is getting your word count right for your genre.

A book’s publisher and publication date in your list of credits: This may be the most common information authors forget to include in their queries.

Social media platforms: Literary agents love to know if you’re active online and building your author platform (number of followers, etc.).

A personal element in your professional bio: Though some people still cling to the idea that personal statements don’t have a place in a formal bio, we disagree. In an age of social media, your personal story matters. We like to see a word or two about hobbies, family life, or favorite activities.

Career info: Along with your publication credits, it’s worth mentioning what you do for your day job.

Self-published book bragging points: Sales numbers, quotes from reputable reviewers, numbers of four-plus-star reviews—these factors can help distinguish your book from everyone else’s. Here’s how to write a query for a self-published book.

Web presence (aka your author website URL): Even if you haven’t been actively promoting your writing, literary agents may be encouraged to know that you are building the framework for a long, reputable career as a writer.

Any interested competition: If one literary agent has requested pages of your book, it’s important to tell others that your book already has some interest in it. Why? Not only is your transparency a professional courtesy, it might inspire agents to move more quickly on your manuscript.

Contact information: In the age of email, forgetting to include your street address and phone number in your query letter is an easy oversight to make. Be sure to include your snail mail contact info.

Your real name: Query letters should always be sent under an author’s legal name. Learn more about using a pen name in queries.

Published excerpt information. Some writers forget to point out the specific ties that published works have to the manuscript being pitched. If excerpts from your book have been published—point that out.

What Really Matters When Writing A Query Letter

Literary agents recognize that the best writers don’t always write the best query letters (that’s why it’s good to get help)! The one, single, most important thing your query letter must do is THIS—and then literary agents will be happy to overlook minor omissions.


Question: What else belongs on our list of query letter essentials?


Query Letter Genre Essentials: Pitching Mystery And Thriller Novels | Writer’s Relief

Writing a query letter for your mystery or thriller novel? Here are the things that Writer’s Relief recommends you keep in mind when pitching a book to literary agents: How To Write A Query For A Mystery Or Thriller Novel Know your genre (and your subgenre). Because the line between mysteries and thrillers is blurry,… Continue Reading

11 Things Writers Say In Query Letters—But Really Shouldn’t | Writer’s Relief

The query letter experts at Writer’s Relief work with novel and memoir writers to craft effective letters that stand out in literary agents’ slush piles. And we often see writers including things in a query to a literary agent that shouldn’t be there. Here are our tips! Writers: Don’t Include These 11 Things In Your… Continue Reading

How To Decide Which Plot Points Should Go In Your Query Letter Summary (And Which Shouldn’t) | Writer’s Relief

While a full-length novel or memoir might be around 100,000 words long, the query letter summary should only be about 200 words. Anything more and you risk irritating busy literary agents and losing their interest. So it’s not surprising that many writers have trouble writing a book blurb or determining what to include in a… Continue Reading

9 Strategies That Automatically Boost The Appeal Of Your Query Letter | Writer’s Relief

When literary agents are reading through query letters, certain elements will jump off the page and say “Hey! I’m something special! Pay closer attention, pal!” The query letter experts here at Writer’s Relief know how to take advantage of attention-grabbing tactics by implementing these essential query letter writing strategies. Key Query Letter Elements That Literary… Continue Reading

Learn More
Live Chat Software


This page was chock-full of great info...
and there's so much more here to help you meet your publishing goals!

Be sure to sign up for our FREE guides as you enter each site.

For advice, marketing ideas, and step-by-step guidance through the self-publishing process!

Featuring smart ways to boost your online presence, build your author website, or improve your existing website.

For everything you need to know about writing, preparing, and targeting submissions to literary agents and editors!