The Non-fiction Query

So you’ve read about how I put my nonfiction book proposal together here. But what about my query?

I have two different versions of my query. The personalized queries, in which I moved some stuff around to accomodate the personalization & flow, and the main query that I used, which you can see below. The personalized queries are actually more streamlined than what you see below but I’d be redacting left and right so I just went with showing you the main query.

You’ll notice that I say “estimated word count” because for non-fiction, you don’t have to have a completed manuscript to query, all you need is a completed proposal which includes the first few chapters of your manuscript.

Also, the non-fiction query is slightly longer than the fiction query. That’s because for fiction, you’re selling the story whereas for non-fiction, you’re selling your story and yourself right out of the gate. I took out my bio paragraph below for non-fiction, it is essential to show why you’re qualified to write the story. Now’s your time to shine. Talk yourself up! Don’t be shy.

I’ve also taken out the title of the book and redacted a few things for reasons. I didn’t redact the goods though so enjoy!


Dear Agent,

TV BOOK is a nonfiction pop culture book for adults and young adults (Ages Redacted) with the estimated word count of (Redacted) words. 

TV BOOK, a compendium of television achievements made by Black women, is a love letter to the Black women who defied Hollywood’s standards, demanding a respectable place on the call sheet. It’s a reflection of hope for creative, young women of color across the nation. 

From well admired stage actors making names for themselves in tinseltown and the first Black women to be nominated for and win awards, to rising LGBT representation and the first Black women to make names for themselves in daytime and late night TV, each chapter explores television’s history embracing Black women on the small screen and how that has positively changed the way Hollywood as a whole has recognized minorities over decades. 

In a time when the constantly trending #BlackGirlMagic and #BlackGirlsRock thrives, the mainstream audience has finally recognized and is embracing that minorities, women, and in particular, women of color are hungry for stories by and for Black women and for a celebration of Black women thriving. This book is that celebration.

(Redacted: Paragraph about the inspiration for the title)

(Redacted: Bio Paragraph) 

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.


Melody Simpson

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