At about the same time, someone posted on a forum that they'd been offered help with writing their query letter for a mere £250. Someone else posted of another service that cost only £100. £100 to help write a query letter? I'm in the wrong business.
My problem is that I don't see how anyone else can write your query letter. It's supposed to be about you and what you've written. It's giving a brief impression of who you are and your writing style, and telling a little bit about your novel. Only you can do it. I can - and have many a time - given feedback to students on their query letters, but it's really not much more than common sense. Anyone could do it. So hang on to your money and ask a friend to have a look. Here are some questions you could then ask them:
- Can you tell what I'm offering? (Yup, I've seen covering letters that omitted to say it was a novel/children's book.)
- What three words would you choose to summarise what I'm offering?
- On the basis of what's written, what three words would you choose to summarise the person behind the letter?
- Do you think the letter reflects me, as you know me?
- If you were receiving this letter, how would you feel?
The idea of asking questions is to stop them saying something like, it's fine or seems OK to me, which is what they'll probably do if they're not a writer.
Above all, don't get too hung up on it. It's a letter for heaven's sake, not rocket science! Be straightforward, be direct, don't make daft claims or be pushy. Tell them who you are, and what you're offering, thank them for their time and that's it.
Still not enough? There's more about covering letters in these previous posts.
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