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Approaching Publishers: Query Letters

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"Hi, I have written a book, are you interested?"

I have received several emails with just that single question.

Of course, I am interested; I am an editor and publisher -- books are my world. But, and there's a big but here, your one-line query doesn't augur well for you. As a publisher, I now know you are a lazy writer who hasn't put in the effort or bothered to go through the grind.

Any publisher and author will require a tonne of information about your book and you before they take the risk of investing time, money, and effort.

So, if you are wondering how to approach publishers, read on.

Your email or as we call it in publishing, "query letter" will say more than your manuscript. In publishing, a query letter is a formal letter that aspiring authors send to literary agents or publishers to introduce themselves and their manuscripts. It serves as the first impression and a pitch for your work.

Here's what a typical query letter includes:

1. Make It Personal: Start with a friendly and personalised greeting, like addressing the agent or editor by their name. It's all about that personal touch.

2. Hook them in: Begin with an attention-grabbing hook. Think of it as your book's movie trailer – it should leave them eager for more. This might be a concise summary of your book's premise or a thought-provoking question.

3. Book Summary: Give a quick, exciting summary of your book. Who are the main characters? What's the big problem they're facing? Why should readers care?

4. Introduce Yourself: Share a brief author bio, highlighting any writing experience or achievements. Let them know why you're the perfect person to tell this story.

5. Other books like yours: Mention a few books similar to yours. It helps the agent or editor understand which genre your book fits in.

6. Manuscript details: Share details like your book's title, genre, and word count. Be specific and accurate.

7. End on a Grateful Note: Wrap up with a thank-you for their time and express your willingness to provide more information if they're interested.

8. Your contact information: Include your contact information so they can easily reach out.

9. Sign off: End with a formal sign-off like "Sincerely," followed by your name.

10. Extra information if needed: If the agent or publisher wants extra materials, like sample chapters, mention them in your letter.

Remember, a query letter is your chance to make a positive first impression, so it should be well-crafted, professional, and tailored to the specific agent or publisher you're querying.

Keep it concise and engaging, and always follow the submission guidelines provided by the recipient.

Wish to know more about getting your book edited and published, don't hesitate to reach out to me.

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