Want to be published? Learn to query

Every now and then someone mistakes me for a person with a clue and asks how to approach a publisher about a book. There are no grand secrets — by now everyone knows that — just some basics on how to get started. In a series of posts last year I outlined how my first book landed on shelves, but skip all that for now, because I want to get to probably the most important part of the process aside from the writing itself: Your query letter.

A query letter is simple, in theory. It’s you saying to an agent or publisher, “Hey, want to see my book?”

Not so simple in practice, though.

I won’t get into the details because other people have done a far better job than I ever could. For instance, How to Write a Query Letter in Five Easy Steps. Go read it.