More and more agents request e-queries rather than snail mail queries, but did you know there are different formatting rules for both methods? Don’t be frightened. We’ll walk through this together. Here. Hold my hand.
Since the norm is to use e-queries, we’ll look at that format, but before you worry about how to set-up your e-query, write the darn thing. Make sure it’s between 150-250 words. The leaner, the better.
All done? Great. Now, let’s get down to the formatting “rules”.
-Subject Line: QUERY: TITLE OF YOUR BOOK (Yes, this should all be in caps.)
-Unlike a snail mail query, there’s no need to list the agent’s info. Go straight to the salutation, where you should be professional, not casual. Ensure you type the correct name. There’s nothing worse than sending an email to Jessica and addressing it to Kristin. Well, there are worse things, but still…
-Spacing: Put a space between every paragraph and don’t indent.
-Settings: Don’t use bold, italics, or underlines in your query because not everyone’s email system is set-up in the same way. You never know what could appear on the other end.
-Title in Query: Capitalize your title rather than using italics for the same reason as above.
-Closing: Use the standard “Sincerely” or “Regards” and add your full name (first and last). If you’re using a pseudonym, sign as yourself and add “writing as” with your pen name. For example: Lynnette Novak w/a Lynnette Labelle. Under your name, add your phone number, city, and state. If you have a writing related blog or website, you can list it there, too.
See? Not so scary, is it? Now hop to it. No more excuses.
Come back for more in this series to learn how to format your synopsis and manuscript.
If you’ve queried, have you done more e-queries than snail mail? If you haven’t, will you send out traditional mail queries or stick to the email version?