Query Letters & Book Proposals


The query letter has a big job to do in a short space. It has to start with a hook that makes the letter hard to stop reading and then go on to briefly and concisely describe what the book is about, say what it will do for readers, and why you’re the best person to write it. The query letter’s job is to incite interest while illustrating your voice as a writer and your professionalism. Don’t let your book be one of those that doesn’t get a fair chance and ends up deleted or in the round file.

When an agent or prospective publisher reads a compelling query letter they ask to see the manuscript for more or immediately go on to read your book proposal if it is included in the package you’ve sent them. But a good query letter can be hard to write. Agents receive hundreds, if not thousands, of queries every week, and delete most from their email in a split second or toss them into the reject pile.

If you have written a query letter for your book and want a skilled evaluation of it, CONTACT ME to make arrangements. You’ll find out what is working or needs to be revised to become a stellar sales piece. If you would like a query letter written or edited, we can discuss that as well.


Proposals are the primary sales tool for securing an agent and publisher. They follow a standard format and are typically 10 to 30 pages (longer if they include a requested sample from your book).

Get Your Book Proposal Edited If you have written a book proposal and are ready for a proposal editor, I can help increase its chances of not only garnering an agent’s or publisher’s attention, but increase its chances of winning a sale. We’ll start with a 1-hour meeting by phone, Skype or Zoom to discuss your proposal and your book. In advance of our meeting I’ll ask you to send your proposal (as a Word or Pages doc) for my review so I can be sure all of its sections are included and complete and the proposal is ready to be edited. If I determine that the proposal is ready for a basic edit, I will edit it with an eye for how effective it is in appealing to agents and publishers. The fee for a proposal edit includes the initial 1-hour call, the edit of the work, and a follow-up 30-minute call to answer any questions you may have. The fee for proposal editing ranges between $1200 and $1750, depending on length.

Get Your Memoir or Nonfiction Book Proposal Written For You When you schedule a 1-hour consultation with me, in advance of it I’ll ask you to email a brief book synopsis, table of contents (if you have one), and any related marketing materials you may want to include. In the meeting, which can be by phone or Skype, we’ll discuss your materials and any marketing plans you already have in place and determine what you’ll need for a winning proposal. We’ll make arrangements for me to write your proposal with your input and review. Proposal writing is a separate fee, and proposals are usually completed and ready to send in up to 4 weeks. The fee for proposals ranges between $2500 and $5500, depending on length and the amount of research required.

If you would like a book proposal written or edited, CONTACT ME and we’ll make arrangements to get started.

About Suzanne

Suzanne Sherman has been a publishing professional in various capacities since 1983 and has specialized in memoir for over 20 years. Her clients have published with Wiley & Sons, Chronicle Books, Ten Speed Press, Monkfish Publishing, Freethought Press, and more. With her guidance, clients who preferred a small print run of their books to distribute as they liked have used a printer, many have successfully self-published, and several have put their books into the market with the help of a hybrid publisher. READ MORE »

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