Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Writing Tips - You NEED Query Letters

"AJ can you help, I've just finished my novel and was thinking of sending the manuscript to a publisher in PDF format. Is this alright or do I have to send the printed version? I'll be sending it to another country, so it could end up costly? What should I do please?"
Mark, let's make it clear; you should never send a manuscript to any publisher without first being invited. A growing number of publishers only deal with agents, so check that out as a first priority.
If the publishing house accepts manuscripts without an agent intermediary, you should send a polite letter (email) of enquiry asking permission to send the first three chapters for approval.
The letter (email) should include the word-count, your writing experience (plus any success, no matter how limited) and the genre of your work. At this early stage, include a very SHORT synopsis of your book - about 100 words or so (look to the blurb on a novel to get a feel of what to put).
IF you are invited to tender part of your manuscript, you should again include the above information, together with a slightly longer synopsis, but no more than two pages of A4 in length.
For guidelines on submissions see earlier post
When sending your letter of enquiry, never include a file attachment unless you've been specifically invited to do so. You don't want to risk an anti-virus dumping your enquiry without seeing the light of day. That would be terrible!