Query Letter Examples From Successful Authors: How to Write a Query Letter

In a previous blog post, I looked at novel synopsis examples for literary agents. A wonderfully terrifying task if there ever was one. There are plenty of great samples out there, and hopefully the post helps shed some light on what you should and shouldn’t be doing.

But, in order to get an agent to even read your synopsis, you must first also learn how to write a query letter. As with the synopsis post, it seems like finding some query letter examples is going to be the most effective method of acquiring your own success.

As a good query letter is essentially step one on your journey to getting your novel published, where better to take inspiration than from those who have already seen publishing success? If you want an agent to even entertain the idea of selling your book to a publisher, you need to sell it to them first. Before they’ll even glance at your synopsis or example chapters, potentially leading to the release of one of the best new fantasy books of 2019, or one of the greatest historical fictions ever written, they need to get past that initial query.

Query letter examples are your perfect learning tool. When you want to learn how to write a query letter, where else better to look?

To that end I have put together this blog: a resource of query letter examples that can help you work out what you should be putting into your covering email.

If it worked for others, it can work for you.

The World of Reddit

Reddit is a weird and wonderful place. It can be full of the greatest dregs of the internet, yet it can also be packed with stories of hope and inspiration.

This particular Reddit thread asked successful authors to post the query letter examples that secured them their agent or publisher, and the responses don’t disappoint. There are numerous examples of well-written and successful queries within the post, featuring all types of genres. It’s a great place to go to see a wealth of query letter examples all in one handy locale and really can help you learn how to write a query letter.

Ed McDonald's Blackwing Query Letter

I am a big fan of Blackwing by Ed McDonald, which all came from discovering perhaps one of the best query letter examples online.. He sold it to his agent, and he sold it to me, too. That is exactly how to write a query letter. It needs to sell, sell, sell. Your book might be your baby, your work of art, but to an agent it’s a commercial entity with money written all over it.

Blackwing, the first the Raven’s Mark series, was a critical success. Popular among fantasy fans, the sequel has already been released with more on the way. Without that initial cover letter, none of that would have been possible. Read over the query letter example Ed McDonald has shared, and discover exactly how he got the ball rolling on his successful writing career.

The Daedalus Incident Query Letter

Writer’s Digest is an excellent resource for up-and-coming authors. So much so that I actually used examples from the website in my look at how to write a book synopsis as well.

But, back to queries. The publication runs a series called ‘successful queries’ in which they provide genuine query letter examples with notes from agents as to why it worked and what they liked about it. This is a great place to discover what agents are thinking when reading query letters and can really teach you a thing or two about how to write a query letter. There are over 60 query letter examples to literary agents you can read on Writer’s Digest. One that caught my eye was an example from The Daedalus Incident. The notes provide some really interesting insight into what made the agent look further into the novel, eventually leading to acquiring the author a publisher and getting the book printed.

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Jen Polish’s Lunav Query Letter

Successfully published author of the novel Lunav, Jen Polish started where everyone does, by writing that all-important query letter. But, unlike many other writers, she went one step further. Polish has taken to her own website, to not only provide the example query letter that helped achieved her publishing goals, but also tips and advice on how to write a query letter too.

The article she has put together is comprehensive and well worth a read. What’s better than reading query letter examples that went on to be commercially published? Getting detailed rundowns from the author in question as to how they did it and how you can replicate their success.

Tired of reading query letter examples? Take a break and read something a bit different. Find somewhere comfortable, sit back, relax and get lost in the world of Azra with free fantasy short stories.