9 Query Letter Phrases That Get Results

by | May 19, 2016 | Other Helpful Information, Query Letters, Submit Your Writing | 6 comments

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If you’re writing a query letter asking a literary agent to represent your book, there are key phrases that might help your cause. Our expert query letter writers share the strategies that can get better results when used in our clients’ letters.

Great Phrases And Sentences To Include In Your Query Letter

1. My XX,000-word [genre] book, Title Here.

The first line of your query letter is key: It lays the groundwork for everything that comes after. By putting the most important information first instead of burying it deep in the body of your letter, you demonstrate that you’re not one for wasting time.

2. Thanks so much for your time. I truly appreciate it.

Cookie-cutter phrases that profess your gratitude won’t make a personal connection with literary agents. Instead, choose language that feels natural and genuine when expressing thanks.

3. I hope to explore this book’s series potential with you.

Instead of telling an agent that you’ve already written nine of the ten books in your series—when you haven’t even sold the first one—express the possibility of a marketable series. If the literary agent shows interest in your first book, you can always go into detail about what’s already written in further discussions. Learn more about pitching a book series to literary agents.

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4. I’m the author of Title Here (publisher, date).

If you forget to include your book publisher and date in your author bio, literary agents might peg you for a newbie. If you self-published, specify that as well!

5. I self-published this book in [year], but have only just started to approach literary agents. OR I self-published, but haven’t done any marketing beyond friends and family.

If your book has been available but hasn’t had many sales, it may help to explain why.

6. I am a member of XYZ Writing Organization and have attended the XYZ Writer’s Conference.

No publishing credits? That’s okay! The important thing is to show agents that you’re taking your craft seriously. Learn more about how to make the most of your author bio even if you haven’t been published.

7. I have begun preliminary marketing efforts to build my audience on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Even if you don’t have a gazillion fans on Facebook yet, you can still show that you’re actively setting the stage for a fabulous fan base. Learn more about how to get more Facebook fans.

8. I hope you’ll visit my author website to learn more.

Directing a literary agent to your author website suggests that there’s lots more to say, and it demonstrates that you take your online presence seriously. Tip: Web Design Relief creates affordable, professional websites specifically for writers.

9. When I’m not writing, I enjoy…

Because social media has had such a huge impact on book marketing strategies, it can help to demonstrate that you’ve got a personality that makes you likable, interesting, and warm.

Did You Know There Are Some Things You Shouldn’t Say In Your Query?

As important as it is to say all the right things in your query letter for literary agents, there are a few phrases that you should absolutely steer clear of, phrases that are simply TMI or that betray a lack of knowledge about the publishing industry. Find out which phrases will send literary agents running: What Not To Say In Your Query Letter.

Writing your own query letter may seem daunting, but the experts at Writer’s Relief can help! For our Full Service clients, our professional letter writing team creates effective query letters that are skillfully crafted to entice literary agents and build interest in their books.  If you’re a DIY-type, you’ll find an easy-to-follow, step-by-step blueprint for writing a successful query letter using proven marketing techniques in our book, The Ultimate Query Letter Tool Kit by Writer’s Relief.
 

Writer QuestionsQUESTION: Did you find it easy or hard to write a query letter for your book?

6 Comments

  1. Joan Harmon

    Thank you this article was very helpful. I am recrafting my query letter with your tips.

    Reply
  2. Victoria Marie Lees

    I agree with Joan. Great tips here for writers. I’ve shared generously on social media.

    Reply
  3. A.T Kalukango

    Wow, thanx for your tips, they couldn’t have come at a better time

    Reply
  4. Paula

    This article just went into my Favorites folder. Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Colleen

    Enjoyed the article….but what if you ARE a newbie? How do you get off the ground?

    Reply

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