Archive for September, 2011

A Sample Query Letter – Non-Fiction Book

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

There is so much discussion – conflicting opinions, advice, and warnings – about query letters for books. Too much, in my opinion. It makes the task of composing a query letter seem so onerous, one might delay or procrastinate doing so just because of the hype. Calm down, people. Let’s just do this thing, and if it’s not “perfect,” oh well. A lesson learned, experience gained.

I think the best thing I’ve read about query letters is this: focus not so much on writing the flawless query letter as authoring a great book. Your book or book idea – if it’s creative, compelling, and something people will actually want to read – will be the gem that you tout in your query letter. A smart agent or publisher knows how to recognize even a “diamond in the rough.”

Personally, I learn the best by example. So here’s a sample query letter I did for a non-fiction book idea brought to me by a new author. We’re waiting for the results on this, but I think the letter is pretty good. I want some feedback, so don’t be shy about making comments!

Dear Mr. or Ms. Agent:

Step aside, Botox, Restylane, and Juvederm. Young, ripped, sexy men wanting to please me give me a better “injection” of youth than anything available from an aesthetician! As an over-40 female and three-time divorcé, I have finally discovered the power of cougarhood. And my 60,000-word, completed, non-fiction manuscript, Cougar Season Now Open: My Path from Victimhood to Cougarhood, tells how when I changed my attitude, I changed my dating pool.

Popularized by celebrities like Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher; Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins; Ivana Trump and …well, her array of young ex’s, cougar dating is a hot, current relationship trend, one that’s really just beginning. In Cougar Season Now Open, I share my collection of crazy, edgy, funny – and yes, at times, heartbreaking – episodes dating younger men. But there’s even more for the reader than that.

Unlike other cougar dating books currently available, Cougar Season Now Open combines light, fun-and-risque stories with simply-stated wisdom and advice for healing from the past and finding out who we really are. The result is a book of rollicking escapades, by which the reader will mostly be entertained, but also “just might learn something.” In addition to inspiring women to get back out in the playing field again – even if they’ve had too much relationship drama in the past – I reveal my post-divorce secrets for maintaining my sanity and youthful appearance. Especially relevant to women 40 years and older, my discoveries include everything from cardio-boxing and Internet dating to Tantra spirituality.

My personal experiences with men, marriage, relationships, and dating are far from being my sole inspiration for writing this book. As the owner/manager of a San Diego women’s fitness club for several years, I spend most of my waking hours talking with other women – clients, friends, and employees – of all ages and from a vast variety of lifestyles. As a result, I’ve got a head full of know-how and perspective about females. Cougar Season Now Open is the “climax” of all I’ve learned, giving anyone who reads it (besides a ton of guilty pleasure) a surprising look at how women think about and behave with men.

I truly appreciate your time and consideration of this query, and I look forward to sending you my full proposal at your request.

Future Best-Selling Author