June 20, 2009

Sample Query Letter


Copyright Scott Bourne 2002 - All Rights Reserved

Copyright Scott Bourne 2002 - All Rights Reserved


If you want to get a book, calendar or similar project published, you’ll need to write a query letter. Rather than tell you how to write one, I thought I’d include a sample letter I wrote. You could use this format to pitch everything from magazine articles to long-term book projects. Use it as inspiration to write your own letter.

Your Name





Dear PUBLISHER: (You should find out the name of the person who reviews query letters and address this letter to that person by name.)

There are more than 10,000 members of the US Lighthouse Society and approximately 50,000 members of various state and local lighthouse societies. More than 10,000 American businesses have the word “lighthouse” in their name. There are approximately 250 national, state and regional lighthouse societies and another 500 lighthouse clubs. There are thousands of web sites devoted to lighthouses and one national magazine.

With all this interest in lighthouses, I am convinced that my book “Washington Light,” a photographic essay about Washington’s lighthouses, will appeal to a wide variety of people who share a passion for these beacons on the coast.

This book is the only book of its kind. While there are lighthouse guides and maps, lighthouse history and textbooks, there are currently no accurate photographic records of every Washington lighthouse.

With 25 lighthouses to its credit, Washington has more lighthouse museums, than most states.

I have written numerous magazine and newspaper stories, four books, written three training videos, worked for trade publications and published several online journals, but no project I have ever worked on has brought me closer to my audience than this one. While making images for this project, I have been approached by countless lighthouse fans that are excited to learn that a book featuring great photos of Washington lighthouses is in the works.

The book would ideally be 8×11.5 inches or larger trim size soft cover book with approximately 100 pages including 50 full color photographs, 25 poems and 25 quotes. The poems will have a lighthouse theme and be written by Washington poets who have responded to a contest. The quotes are all public domain and have been researched.

Every Washington lighthouse will be photographed several times. From hundreds of photos, the photographer will select 100 images, four of each lighthouse. The publisher and photographer will work together to select the best image of each lighthouse for inclusion in the book. All images will already be in digital format and ready for printing.

The book is already more than one third completed. I expect to finish the book by December.

I look forward to working with you on this project and invite you to contact me any time you need additional information.

Thanks for considering my proposal.

Scott Bourne

Sample Image Attached

This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store