Non-Fiction Query

How To Write a Non Fiction Query

by Michelle McLean

Well, as this is something I have been working on lately, I thought I’d share what I’ve been learning. I have been querying fiction for so long, I consider myself a pro at it, but non-fiction…yeah, that’s throwing me for a loop! Even though the elements are similar, it’s just a whole different angle of pitching your book. So, here goes.

What to include in your non-fiction query:

1. Your lead/hook

Just like in a fiction query, your opening paragraph should hook the editor or agent into wanting to find out more. But you also need to clearly state what the book is about. With fiction, sometimes you might leave out some details in order to entice your audience into wanting to read more. But with non-fiction, they need to know what your book is about in order for them to want more, so get right to the point. Start with your strongest material. You could start off saying something like, “In a recent NYT article, it was reported that over 60% of Americans are dying to buy my book.” 😀 You could also use a strong anecdote or comparison.

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