Writing is the art of seeing through another pair of eyes. This is true at every step of the process, from creating characters to describing a scene to understanding what agents, editors, and readers want. For many writers, putting together a query letter is nearly as daunting as writing a novel. Literary agent Kristin Nelson offered these helpful tips on her most recent newsletter:
Fact #1: Shorter query letters get a better request response from agents and editors.
Fact # 2: Literary agents rarely read the entire query letter.
Fact #3: Clearly outlining in your query letter how your story fits in the market will encourage literary agents to read your entire email letter closely.
Fact #4: A really good title for a novel will catch an agent’s attention.
Fact #5: A really terrific concept in your query won’t save you if the letter itself is poorly written.
Fact #6: If you have to defend that your novel is over 200,000 words in your query letter, then you are not pitching your story from a place of strength. And agents are more likely to pass.