How to Write a Cover or Query Letter

A little wisdom from the esteemed Joanne Hall, that should be of use to any aspiring authors out there…

Joanne Hall


I asked around on Twitter to see if anyone had an interest in reading an article on how to construct a query letter when pitching a manuscript, and a good few people said that they would. So here you are – as always with writing advice, YMMV, but this is what works for me.

First of all, I should say that there’s a difference between the standard “cover letter” (Uk format), and the US-standard “query letter” (examples and advice behind the link). The US letter usually asks for more information.

As with everything – look to see if there are any guidelines on the publisher’s website before you start. Some publishers want 3-4 paragraphs about the book, some don’t. Usually if you’re including a synopsis with your query, you won’t need to include as much information. I find the American-style query letter works best if all you’re…

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