A strong query letter must introduce a book proposal, manuscript, or article pitch. This query letter for my first book idea, Unveiling Vancouver, may not be the best pitch ever — but several publishers asked to see the full book proposal. Nobody actually bought it…but…ahem…”No guts, no glory!” says this adventurous writer!
Here’s my first query letter:
Dear (Esteemed Publisher, Editor, or Agent),
“Come Play With Us!” invites the Vancouver Olympic Committee; “Can we come early?” is the reply. Almost 9 million tourists visited Vancouver in 2004, and every year an average of 15,000 people relocate to the Lower Mainland. From now until 2010 our city will be even more saturated with newcomers, and their needs include information and insider tidbits. According to an article in the September 2005 edition of Publisher’s Weekly (“Keeping Pace” by Suzanne Mantell), tourists are demanding more than the standard travel guide and want “sophisticated insider information.” The book I offer you fits and seals the gap left by other Vancouver guides because it provides practical insider information that simplifies and enriches daily life in the Lower Mainland.
Unveiling Vancouver: An Insider’s Guide to the Jewel of the Pacific (or From Newcomer to Old-Timer: Being in Vancouver) is a non-fiction guidebook to living in the Lower Mainland. This book will ease transitions for both travelers and new residents by providing information basic to the city and answering questions current travel books don’t address, such as “Where is the most reasonable place to buy smoked salmon, authentic Native Indian art, or fresh local blueberries?” and “Fly fishing is something I’ve always been curious about. Can I try it in Vancouver?”
About the Author: Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen writes weekly for the Bowen Island newspaper, the Undercurrent. She has taught Journalism, Language Arts, and Writing classes, and has degrees in Secondary Education and Psychology. Born in Vancouver, she has the unique experience of also being a newcomer as she spent most of her childhood in Saskatchewan and relocated to Vancouver as an adult – twice! She lived in Kenya for three years, visited many countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, and has a real sense of what newcomers need to know when settling in to a new city – and what old-timers think they know about the city in which they’ve lived for years.
Enclosed is a proposal including clips, two sample chapters and a SASE.
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Thank you for your consideration; I look forward to your response. No need to return the materials. This is a simultaneous submission.
If you have any thoughts or questions about this query letter for Unveiling Vancouver, please fire away below! And if you want to write your own query letter, you might benefit from reading How to Choose a College Major.