I’ve always known how important the query letter is, what I didn’t know was the extent in which they are used until I read this interesting post by Jordan Hamessley London (Editor at Egmont USA) over at Pub(lishing) Crawl.
According to Jordan, once you sign with an agent your query letter never dies. She says many agents she knows pull from an author’s query letter for the pitch letter sent to editors when a book goes on submission. She says that she then goes back to that pitch letter for inspiration for her own pitch to people like the publisher and sales and marketing team.
It doesn’t end there. The sales and marketing team will try to convince booksellers and reviewers to pick up the book by writing catalog and sales copy from the editor’s own pitch, which parts came from your query letter. Jordan then says parts of your query may even end up in your book’s cover/jacket copy. More places than I had ever imagined.
Here is Jordan’s advice on writing your query letter:
“Your query goes beyond so much more than getting the attention of an agent. It will live with your debut until it ends up on the shelf. No matter how frustrated you may get as you write and revise your query, remember to love it. It will be with you for your entire publishing debut journey.”
There you go, I never really thought about what would happened to my query once it was accepted by an agent, I guess I always thought that once the agent had it that was that. My eyes have been opened.
How about you? Where you aware of how far your query would go?