Frequently Asked Questions (Agents & Queries)
- Where can I learn about writing query letters?
- Start with What is a query letter in QueryTracker's help.
- How long should a query letter be?
- A query letter should be one page, or about 300 to 400 words.
- What font should I use?
- Stick to standard fonts such as Times New Roman or Courier, with a comfortable font size of 12 to 14 points. Don't use colored text.
- Should I include a sample of my writing with my query letter?
Some agents will specify if they want a writing sample included with a query. It can be anything from the first several pages to the first few chapters. They'll tell you what they want.
If nothing is specified, then they probably aren't expecting it, and you can leave it off. But it usually doesn't hurt to paste the first few pages of your manuscript below the query letter, in the case of an email query. If it's a query through some kind of online form, then only include a sample if it is requested.
- Should I include a synopsis with my query letter?
- Only include a synopsis if the agent specifically requests it. Please note this refers to a detailed, stand-alone synopsis, which isn't the same as the short description of your book included in the query letter itself. You never want to leave that out.
- Can I query multiple agents at the same time?
- Yes. It can take months to hear back from agents, so querying one at a time would take forever. It is expected that you are querying multiple agents. One exception is querying multiple agents at the same agency simultaneously. This should be avoided.
- Can I query multiple agents at the same agency?
- Some agencies are fine with this, some will have a policy against it saying if one of them rejects your query, then consider that a rejection from the entire agency. Check their website. If they don't say anything about it, then feel free to assume it's okay to query multiple agents. But it is never okay to query multiple agents at the same agency simultaneously. You should wait to hear back from one before querying another.
- Can I follow up on a query letter if I haven't heard back from the agent?
- This is known as nudging. And like just about everything else, the answer is "depends." Some agents are fine with it, and some don't like it. In any case, the solution is to be very professional about it. Make sure to check the agent's standard reply time on QueryTracker, and don't nudge until that much time has elapsed and then some.