What can make aspiring writers sweat, wring their hands, and beg queasy stomachs to calm down? The dreaded query letter. Writing one seems to be an art in itself. After attending a workshop last November with three literary agents, I've learned it is an art. And it should be. We are writers but we are also our own sales force. Let's face it, our novel, whether it is fiction or non-fiction, is a product and in order for it to be successful it has to be marketed correctly. Who is better informed about this 'product' if not the one who created it?
Hence, the query letter is our mouthpiece, it's our megaphone on paper declaring to the reader what makes our book special and why they should (ultimately) represent us. Writing queries still causes me jitters, but I've accepted it is my responsibility to write a professional and effective letter when the time comes to begin the submission process.
Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent and blogger has written an excellent post entitled "The Top 10 Query Mistakes" on her blog, Rants & Ramblings. It is well worth reading and remembering. Read it by clicking on the title above.