Writing a Persuasive Query Letter

In my previous blog post, I highlighted key points in writing persuasive content. Today, I’m going to take a look at how to apply persuasive writing techniques to a specific action: query letters.

Query letters are letters that accompany a finished manuscript to a publisher or publishing house. For writers, the process of crafting one of these can be intimidating. After all, you’re sending in a manuscript that you’ve labored over for a significant length of time. The last thing you want to do is knock your chances of getting published.

As I’ve stated in this blog post, query letters need to contain basic stats about your manuscript: genre, word count, and anticipated audience. This is the technical aspect of the letter. The psychological aspect focuses on making your letter effective. In order to be effective, your letter must:

  • Make your publisher want to read more. Intrigue is your friend here – you want to craft a question in the publisher’s mind. 
  • Create suspense. Keep your letter short and to the point.
  • Connect through emotion. Use emotionally driven words create a state of empathy. 

Think back through some of the key points from my last post. Persuasive writing involves presenting strong evidence, relevant examples, and balanced information. By adhering to these three principles of persuasion, you will enhance your changes of your query letter (and any other piece of persuasion you write) having the kind of impact you want!

However, query letters work best when you send to publishers who are looking for the genre you’re writing in. Many times, they will specify what they want from you in a query letter – make sure to give them the information they request!

Need another eye or guiding hand in writing a query letter for manuscript? Let’s set up a consultation! 

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