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Sample E-Mail Query Letter


The following example is the best, most efficient, and most productive means of submitting an e-mail query to a literary agent that we have seen.  Note that many books fall into several different genres (and you should include all of them that apply to your book).  Note also that an author's "Platform" is critical to a sales pitch because publishers want to see how the author's connections, talents, and experiences will enable him or her to help the publisher sell books.  The stronger your platform, the greater the likelihood of your being published!


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From: Fred Q. Author <>

To: Miss Literary Agent <>

Subject: Book Query


Dear Ms. Agent,


I have a nonfiction book that I think you'll like, because it tackles the troubled economic times we're experiencing head on.  Please let me know if you'd like to see more, and thanks for your time!



Tough Times: Getting More and Paying Less

How To Prosper in the Midst of Financial Disaster



Business, Finance, Self-Help



  • Author teaches evening classes in business and has access to direct-mail list of several thousand students

  • Author to establish a TOUGH TIMES Foundation Web presence with Moderated Forum and Weekly Podcasts on financial help topics for everyday Americans (adaptable to other countries in conjunction with foreign book sales)

  • Author-written interviews with TOUGH TIMES experts to be syndicated to top daily newspapers (author was formerly syndicated in more than 1,100 U.S. and Canadian papers with “In Business” column, including all major U.S. dailies)

  • Author-produced series of "You Tube"-type TOUGH TIMES Video Presentations featuring tips, clips, and advice from the book

  • Author-provided Series of Weekly PR Releases to Internet community and businesses around the English-speaking world, highlighting tips from TOUGH TIMES

  • Author-retained Peabody Media Group to handle all additional PR and author marketing programs  in aggressive national promotional campaign


It's true.  When times get tough, people get tougher.  And that often means they cut down on their spending.  After all, what good will buying a new car be if your home falls into default? 


Yet, everyone likes to buy things.  Doing so makes us feel good.  Now, as it turns out, buying things during a financial crisis may also be the RIGHT thing to do.


At least, so say the experts--those financially well-to-do business people, advisers, and entrepreneurs who were once down and out themselves, just like you and so many other friends, family members, and associates you know.  The only difference is that they knew what to acquire to prosper.  And now they share their knowledge with you.


How will you know when the time is right?  Where will you find the investment capital you may need?  How long will you have to hold onto your new acquisitions before making a profit?  These are just a few of the questions that are answered in Tough Times: Getting More and Paying Less   How To Prosper in the Midst of Financial Disaster.



Fred Q. Author is a professional journalist and newspaperman with more than 16 years of experience working the political and financial beats of a major metropolitan area.  Besides being chairman of the Authors Rights' Committee, he is executive manager of the Financial Times, a bi-monthly newsletter that serves more than 30,000 members of the financial community.


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