Example of a Literary Agent Query Letter – The Real Barbados Story
I am excited to talk to you as I believe my book ROGUES IN PARADISE, the real story of Barbados, is an excellent companion to YOUR BOOK & WHY!
Think Lauren Elkins’ Flaneuse meets Washington Black. Like Flaneuse, Rogues weaves together people, place, and history. While Washinton Black is the genius young Barbadian freed from slavery, Rogues’ delves into that experience with real stories of people, place and history.
Set in current day Barbados, It explores the psyche of exceptional people who survived three hundred years of slavery and systemic discrimination to become a thriving, independent, democratic republic.
The books’ rogues and heroes range from street vendors to knights of the realm: They are fun-loving, quirky, witty, and wise. Readers will meet characters like Ace, a Jack of all trades, who uses agile wit to skirt the law; and Woolly, an artist who transforms Simon Cowell’s visit into a springboard for his success.
The stories flow with a Caribbean rhythm, like Ace thinking: “Plenty time and money here. Movie cameras, laptops, fancy cars, and stereos, fetch some dollars on the street. Ain’t gonna steal, just gonna take, a little for the magistrate.”
The mystery is, how are ordinary Bajans so joyful and self-assured given their troubled past. Chance meeting with irascible and colourful Bajans, interpreting history, and gaining insight reveals a unique Barbados heritage and character.
I have over 35 years of experience building environmental and tourism technology while writing about technology, people, and travel. In 1965 I founded the Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia, an extensive platform with a focused social media network. In 2013 The New York Times featured it in ‘How Hotels Use Social Media’.
I graduated with honours in marketing and systems. I am an active blogger/videographer and a recovering CEO software developer. I have self-published three books on online marketing. My first tourism book, Website, was an Amazon bestseller.
The manuscript is professionally edited and sensitivity validated.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Components of Literary Agent Query Letter
The letter opens with the bonding. This requires some research to find what kind of books the agent represents and what they are currently looking for. This changes from time to time so the study must be on current trends and needs. It’s no secret that Washington Black is on my list and if I am making a proposal to that agent I need to mention the book and show how my book is a good companion. Washington Blacks agent may not be the best fit for a number of reasons: Perhaps the agent only represented award-winning and recognised authors. They may not want debut authors. If so more research is needed.
Sometimes you cannot add all into 300 words, and I have not expanded the why in the bond. I believe that rogues is a good companion to your book and will appeal to its readers.
Competitive and comparable books are noted in the QL – In this case, I choose Flaneuse and Washington Black. And explain why. Bill Bryson’s book are also a good comp but they are not current and hugely successful. Agents will find that unrealistic. The comps are added as a mashup in the text above.
the book has to be different. Explaining this difference is understanding its hook. In the QL above its a few things like: “The mystery is, why”. this shows that it has a purpose beyond the story-. Also, it is “First-hand accounts” – this indicates it has a different view and voice.
Build your voice in the query. In this case, I quote one of the main characters. It gives a clear indication of the rhythm and voice of the character and the real story of Barbados.