Still have questions? Leave a comment

    Checklist: Dissertation Proposal

    Enter your email id to get the downloadable right in your inbox!

      Examples: Edited Papers

      Enter your email id to get the downloadable right in your inbox!

        Editing and
        Proofreading Services?

        How to Write a Query Letter (Examples + Free Template)

        • calenderFeb 29, 2024
        • calender 7 min read

        Want to create a query letter that stands out? In this article, we’ve explained the basics of writing a query letter with simple steps. From how to start a query letter to which elements to include, we’ve covered everything!  

        We’ve also added good query letter examples and a template for you. Good literary agents receive thousands of queries daily, so it’s important to spare no effort to create one. So without further delay, let’s begin! 

        Create a compelling query letter for your book!

        How to write a query letter in 6 easy steps 

        Use an active and vibrant voice while writing a query letter for a novel/non-fiction book. Follow these steps to create the perfect query letter! 

        1. Address the literary agent 

        Begin with a friendly greeting starting with Dear, followed by the agent’s name. For example, “Dear Rachel”. 

        2. Write a strong opening  

        You can start with an intriguing question or a shocking, thought-provoking statement. This statement/question should be directly relevant to the book’s content/themes. 

        Some other strategies to do this are: Highlighting an unexplored theme, an engaging plot twist, an impactful quote, a catchy dialogue, or an anecdote. (Alternatively, you can also start by mentioning the book’s title, word count, and genre). 

        3. Create a compelling book description 

        Introduce the readers to the book’s protagonist, setting, the main conflict/high stakes. Describe the book’s strengths and what makes it unique (new themes, a twist on common themes, interesting character choices, or unforgettable/unconventional fictional characters

        If it’s a nonfiction book, write how it will be useful for readers in the book description

        4. Personalize your book pitch for impact 

        Research the top literary agents in your genre and their requirements. If you’ve met them/someone recommended the agent, you can write this. Basically, explain why you’re writing them a query letter. 

        Link your work to their interests. For example, if they’re looking for children’s book submissions and you’ve written one, mention this. If there are similarities in terms of background, or shared experiences, highlight this fact. 

        5. Add a brief, engaging author bio 

        Write a short bio of 2-5 sentences. If you’ve written any books, add them to the author bio. If your book is inspired by real-life events, write this fact. 

        Some other strategies for writing a strong bio are: 

        • List any press coverage/speaking engagements/ writing communities you’ve been part of. 
        • If you’ve received any awards/grants for your writing, mention this. 
        • For non-fiction books, write how your background is relevant to the book’s subject matter. 

        6. Conclude your query letter

        The conclusion should ideally be 1-2 sentences and not very long. Express enthusiasm and confidence about the book’s potential. 

        You can also tactfully request the next step such as asking for the manuscript sample pages, a full manuscript request, or a meeting to discuss further (optional). Also, thank the agent for their time. After this, add your contact information so that the agent can reach out if interested. 

        7. Thoroughly edit and proofread 

        Once you’re done writing, check the query letter for any word choice, spelling, and grammatical errors. You’ll also need to remove extra, unnecessary words for optimum length. Wondering how long should a query letter be? The answer is 150-250 words. 

        You can also have your query letter reviewed by the best editing services

        Want to read examples of good query letters? Browse through our next section! 

        Best query letter examples  

        Browse through the top 2 sample query letters to literary agents to write your own! Both query letter samples demonstrate the basic format for querying agents. 

        1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 

        Dear Maria,

        In Nazi Germany, a young girl’s world changes forever when she steals her first book. The Book Thief is a 100,000-word historical novel that will resonate with fans of The Diary of Anne Frank and Sarah’s Key.

        After Liesel’s brother dies, she is adopted by the Hubermanns. Liesel grows to love her new parents as she comes of age in Molching while the Nazi party gains control. She befriends Max, a Jewish refugee hidden by the Hubermanns, and discovers the comfort and danger books can hold as she rescues them from Nazi book burnings. As Liesel collects stories, she realizes the tremendous power words have to change the world.

        Told through the eyes of Death, The Book Thief offers a unique perspective on friendship, language, family, and standing up for what’s right – even in the darkest times. With well-drawn characters and emotional depth, this book appeals to the humanity within us. 

        We are writing to you because we noted your interest in historical fiction books. 

        I have written several other novels like The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, The Messenger, and Getting the Girl which have received wide acclaim. I also received the Book of the Year award for The Messenger in 2003 and Best Book for Young Adults for Getting the Girl

        I hope you’ll consider representing The Book Thief, and I’m happy to provide sample chapters if required. 

        Thanks a lot for your time,

        Markus Zusak

        Mobile: 2233466557 

        Email: [email protected] 

        Now let us see the next sample query letter for a literary agent. 

        2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 

        Dear Robert,

        I am seeking representation for my YA novel, The Fault in Our Stars. It is complete at 68,000 words.

        Sixteen-year-old cancer survivor Hazel Grace Lancaster has never been a love story kind of girl. That is, until the fateful night in Support Group when she meets metaphor-loving Augustus Waters, who just might change her mind.

        As Hazel and Augustus bond over their shared wit and disdain for the conventional cancer story, their connection deepens. Together they confront big questions about life, love, and leaving a mark on the world. When a startling turn of events jeopardizes their new relationship and forces them to reconsider what others value most in life, Hazel and Augustus must determine how best to spend the time they have left.

        This poignant love story explores life, loss, and making peace with uncertainty. With genuine characters and emotional depth, it will resonate with fans of contemporary YA fiction.

        I have written YA novels like Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Catherines which have been tremendously successful. I also received ‘The Printz Honor’ award for Looking for Alaska and the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery for Paper Towns. I am confident I can make this novel a celebrated success like my previous novels. 

        Thanks a lot for your time, 

        John Green

        Mobile: 5544655446

        Email: [email protected] 

        Please note: The contact details for the authors given are fictional and only for demonstrating the query letter format. 

        This sample query level for the novel The Fault in Our Stars demonstrates how to strongly pitch a book. Inspired by this sample query letter to a literary agent? Let’s see a query letter template to help you write one! 

        Query letter template 

        This template includes all basic elements such as the book description, author’s bio, and more. Whether you’re writing a novel query letter or a non-fiction query letter, this template will help! 

        The image displays a standard query letter template.

        This article clearly highlights what is a query letter. After understanding how to write a query letter for a literary agent, you can start brainstorming to create one. However, we’ll be honest: Writing a query letter isn’t easy and it’s best to hire professionals to do so. 

        At PaperTrue, our expert team can create the perfect query letter. This will enable you to send well-edited query letters to publishers/agents. With this, we also provide professional editing and proofreading services for your book. 

        How did you find this article about writing query letters? Do you have any additional tips for writing query letters? Let us know in the comments section! 

        Here are some articles you might find useful: 

        Frequently Asked Questions

        Found this article helpful?


        Priya Linkedin

        Priya has a talent for academic research and enjoys simplifying complex topics. When she's not helping students improve their writing, she can be seen reading poetry, playing the harmonium, or learning classical dance.

        Leave a Comment:

        Your email address will not be published.

        Read More

        How to Copyright Your Book?

        If you’ve thought about copyrighting your book, you’re on the right path.

        Explore more