Writing a Solid Query Letter
At The Knight Agency, we receive a little more than a thousand query letters a month. Fortunately, you are already ahead of the majority. By reading this page and following our tips, you will not only help ensure that we read your query but also help make yours stand out in a positive way.
Your query letter should be limited to the equivalent of one page. Include a brief summary of your manuscript or proposal, as well as any pertinent author information. A good query letter gets straight to the point: What is the book about? What is the genre, plot, length, and so forth? With nonfiction, what is your platform, what are your qualifications, including credentials, national following, etc.? Please mention any previously published works, awards, or associations you may have with pertinent individuals or groups. Please leave out any information not directly related to your project or your relevant experience.
Remember, your query letter is our first introduction to your writing. We like to read entertaining and informative letters that let us know a little about, you, the author. Are you embarking on a writing career or desiring a single publication? How did you find us? Furthermore, check the publishing section of your local library or bookseller for a book on writing query letters (see Recommended Reading), and have others read your letter for clarity as well as any grammar and spelling errors.
Please note that there is no way to "cut in line." Unsolicited chapters will not be read or returned. Please familiarize yourself with the types of books we represent, and do not waste time submitting work in a genre we do not consider. If your manuscript fails to comply with our current needs, you will receive a polite rejection notice. Unfortunately, time does not allow us to provide every work with detailed comments. These decisions are made with great care and are final. Waiting is never easy, and we encourage your patience during this process. If you are curious about the status of your submission, please feel free to contact us via email.
Give us your best and good luck. We look forward to working with you.