How do you write a pitch letter to get a book published via a literary agent? An important part of your submission to an agent shouldn't be your manuscript and even the synopsis. (The agent typically reads the synopsis after the letter, initially to test if the work slots into a ?publishable' class.)
The vital side is the masking or pitch letter. Spend extra time on this than on anything else. Get it improper and the agent won't even read your story.
The important thing components of a superb cover letter are, in roughly this order:
1. Why you chose that agent. Perhaps s/he was recommended to you by a mutual literary pal or already represents authors who write in your style. This exhibits you've got finished your homework. By no means ship out a ?Pricey Sir or Madame'-sort letter. Personalise it heavily!
2. What genre or matter area your work falls into ? and how it compares with other profitable books on this space.
3. Who your work is written for, and a few indication of the proven market which will yearn to learn it. (A number of statistics paraphrased from The E book Commerce Directory are useful right here.)
4. How precisely your work is new ? or not less than different, provocative or otherwise a ?should purchase'. If attainable, stress its worth as a gift. (Few new hardback books in the present day are bought at full retail value, except as items for other individuals.)
5. Your own qualifications for writing this work - similar to your previous publications or awards in prestigious literary contests, and/or your unique lifetime experience.
So in case you've crafted a novel about a dramatic attempt to lift sunken Roman gold from the Aegean sea, point out that you have been a maritime salvage advisor or a deep sea diver or a outstanding classical historian these past several many years.
In case you have a testimonial from a very awesome authority, insert it. But the secretary of your writing membership will not impress.
Put all that into only one page, round 350 words max. Agents don't fortunately turn over pages.
No, no's? agents do not wish to hear about your pet cat, or your disabled child, or the fifty years of agony you might have invested in your opus magnus. Do not lay a guilt journey on them or get chummy. Preserve it skilled. And guarantee that your spelling, grammar, punctuation and presentation are immaculate. The letter is itself a sample of your literary competence.
Beware of the presentation error I made with my first e-book in 1982. I submitted the pages to a publisher, unsolicited, in a ring binder. (Miraculously, he printed the book.) The modern fad is to current the pages, looseleaf, in just a plastic slip folder or elastic band.
True, this follow is kind of mad. (The pages tumble everywhere.) However agents/publishers realized it within the days when typesetters demanded free pages, and the superstition persists. Humour it.
Keep a number of submissions in circulation, perhaps six at a time. Don't chase submissions. While you receive a rejection letter, send out another submission. After you will have approached each relevant agent without success, rest the manuscript for a yr. Then massively revise it. (Its faults should now leap out at you.) And start the process once more.
Chances are, the faculty intern whose job it was to sift the agency slush pile has now moved on, and their replacement would possibly love your work. Cynical? Alas, practical.
The key at present of catching an agent's eye is ninety% perspiration and 10% persistence. Expertise is optionally available. However if you have it, put it - above all - into your overlaying letter!