Whether approaching an agent or a publisher, you will need to draft a query letter. The query letter is a one-page cover letter that introduces you and your book. Query letters usually follow this format:
- First Paragraph: Hook (includes the name of the book, the genre, word count, and the tagline for the book)
- Second Paragraph: A one-paragraph synopsis (think of the book cover copy)
- Third Paragraph: Publishing Credits (avoid any irrelevant bio information)
- Formal closing
Some agents like to know why you selected them. Only include this if you have a very personal or compelling reason. Also, the main focus of your query letter is the book itself, not you the writer. This does not mean the publisher or agent is not interested in you the writer, or in your platform- building activities (which are extremely important). But the reality is that publishers buy books, not writers, and they must be interested in the book first. Once they are interested in the book, then you have to sell them on why you are the best person to write it.