Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Resources and Writing Tools

One function of the Unicorn Writers' Conference is to educate aspiring authors. Let's begin with step one; how to write a compelling query letter that will entice the desired literary agent or editor to want more. Navigating your manuscript through the paces of the publishing industry is daunting, but if you take the time to learn the basics, you will achieve success. Unicorn Writers' Conference is committed to helping authors get published and spreading all the good words that exist out there.

How to Write a Query Letter
Purpose: Your Sales Pitch to Hook a Literary Agent
A concise, intriguing and well-crafted query letter is a letter describing your book. You may query several agents simultaneously. If an agent is interested in your book, the agent will request additional information – your book proposal, and/or sample pages or the complete manuscript. Typically, if an agent is interested they will request the first five pages of your manuscript and what you consider the 40 most interesting pages. A professional, one to one and a half page, query letter sent via mail or e-mail is your first written contact with a literary agent. If sending by mail, a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) for return of materials and with sufficient return postage for your manuscript.

This letter contains:
1) The first compelling sentence that pitches your book
2) Fiction/Non-Fiction:
   a) Fiction:  Genre, main characters, setting and plot should be mentioned in the letter.
   b) Non-Fiction:  Genre, description and proposed number of illustrations/photos
3) Brief bio and why you are qualified to write this book
4) Concise information about the competition and market for this book
5) Description of your previously published articles and books
6) Enclosures:  Published articles, table of contents, bio credentials which help the sale of your book
7) Contact Information: Your name, e-mail, phone numbers, and mailing address.

**Avoid arrogance, spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes.**

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