Kay Derochie

Salem, Oregon, United States

Yearly Stats: $18K Earned |

Query Letter and Book Proposal Writing

I write query letters and proposals for books that I have edited, and I edit queries and proposals for other works. I also help customize submissions to conform to agent and publisher guidelines.

QUERY LETTERS are letters sent to literary agents and publishers to introduce your book and you as an author. Its purpose is to entice the agent or publisher to request a more extensive book proposal or the completed manuscript.

The query letter is a concise expression of the most important aspects of your fiction or nonfiction book and why it should be published. The best query letters include a hook—some distinctive statement about the book that will get the agent’s, the publisher’s, and ultimately the prospective reader’s attention.

Agent and publisher submission guidelines vary; however, sample chapters typically accompany a fiction query letter and the entire book should be written before the query is sent. For nonfiction, a query letter alone is appropriate unless the agent or publisher requests other information such as an author bio. The nonfiction query offers to send a full book proposal and sample chapters or the completed manuscript.

BOOK PROPOSALS are typically used for nonfiction books including memoirs and include a detailed discussion of the elements of the book, its market, its competition, and reasons why the books should be published. The proposal can be used to secure a publisher and advance payment for completion of the book, or it may be sent after the book is written. In the case of a memoir, it is best to have completed the book before sending out query letters and book proposals.

See my Submission Coaching pages for other services related to publication of your book.

$32 / Hour
$32 minimum budget