Query Letter Help


Hello, I am preparing to send a query letter to a few agents and I really need your help. English isn’t my first language and I would like to know what must be added or edited to grab their attention. Much Thanks in advance.

Dear Editor,

“Fear of the Unknown” is a completed 16,000 words mystery-drama set in a fictional town Canzos.

The book opens with the main character promising his friends to come back when he grows into an adult. Standing on his words, he decides to visit them before getting married to his girlfriend, Jasmine. While most people could be happy with a friend getting engaged, his friends shifted in their place. Jasmine gets murdered by an anonymous and things begin to get complcated. With every chapter one of his friends dies scaring him.

Though he planned to run away saving his life he couldn’t leave the only friend who was saved by the nick of time. Who is that unknown person behind the muders? How did everything begin? Can he save his life or will he die like his friends? Tangled in between unwanted mess, his life is a roller coaster ride.

I am currently working on another thriller and this is my first novel. I enclose the first three chapters and a synopsis. I hope you like what you see and look forward to hearing from you.


J.K. Valentine.


Is 16,000 a typo? That’s barely more than a short story. It’s definitely not a novel.

Thrillers should be right around the 100K mark – 90K-110K.


16k is too short, 160k is too long.

Your query letter should say what your target audience is. Is this a book aimed at teenagers, young adults, regular adults, fans of a particular author? The agent needs to know where it fits in the market.

Where is the fictional town of Canzos? Is it India, US, Russia?

What is the name of the main character? What makes him an interesting character?

Seriously, someone is murdering all his friends and he doesn’t run away and bring his friend with him? That makes no sense.

However, the biggest problem is that your English is bad. Even your query letter has a lot of spelling mistakes and phrases like, “Standing on his words” and “Shifted in their place” which are not used in normal English.

If English is not your first language, would you consider writing the story in your first language?