Any book writer knows how important the query letter is.The heavy competition in the hot world of true crime nonfiction makes it even more so. Never is it more advantageous in your writing career to have the ability to birth exciting, attention-grabbing, interesting descriptions than in your first communication to an editor/agent/publisher – the query letter.
The purpose of the true crime book query letter is to get someone interested in your book proposal enough to let it in the front door. It must be precise and informative yet engaging. It should be contained to one page long at the most and should include all your contact information as well.
Begin your true crime query with a captivating title. Place it right under the recipients name. Write the words “Suggested Title”, a colon and then the title of your book.
The next thing to add is called the “hook” or the “lead”. This is where your creative writing skills come in. True crime writers are able to start this section using startling excerpts from their books or vivid descriptions of experiences. Your hook could also be a problem your book will solve or offer information not readily available.
The intent is to get the person reading your letter to say “Hey this sounds like something that could really make some money!”
It should be one paragraph that succeeds in engaging a persons interest. Your next subject in the letter should be what your book is about. One extremely clear, detailed paragraph is suitable. Explain the case your book is about and list specific high-points. Make sure the description is succinct and understandable.
Most importantly is your market comments. Tell your intended agent/publisher how your book will make money. Who will buy it and how many of them are there? List a similar book and tell why yours is better.
A true crime query must have a few lines about the author. Explain who you are and what unique qualities you have that makes you the most qualified to write your proposed book. Really let it be known how YOU could write the biggest money maker in the genre. Make sure to list your writing credentials and other published pieces.
Lastly explain your books status.Can you send a full proposal and sample chapters? Is a completed manuscript available?
Be sure to thank your reader for his/her time and ask if you will be permitted to send your proposal.