Fellow Samhain author, Heidi Moore, posted an awesome blog about query letters here.
And I’m sure the majority of us feel the same. Your query letter is your chance at a first impression, and we all know how important first impressions are.
Rule 1 = Give us a blurb. We need that, really. We need to have a general idea of what the story is about.
Rule 2 = Spell names right! It is not Sam Hain, Sam Hine, Samhein, or “publisher”. If you haven’t even bothered to look at who you’re submitting to and how to spell the name right….you’ll probably be rejected. I’ve found a close connection to the quality of a query letter and the quality of a manuscript. There are VERY few who stand outside this.
Rule 3 = Yes, a query letter is needed. Don’t just say “Manuscript attached.” Are you serious? Is that what you’re giving me? That’s what you want your first impression to be? All righty then. Your choice, your funeral.
Rule 4 = Don’t tell me about what a great writer/author you were at the age of two. I mean, seriously? That’s what you’re using to impress us?
Those are just SOME of my general observations. =P I’m sure there are TONS more that I’m not thinking of right now.