Query Perfection: Reviewing Christopher Kokoski’s ‘Query Letter Swipe File’
This is a kick-ass tool for your traditional publishing arsenal. This is “query letter how-to” meets “plug-and-play”. In Query Letter Swipe File, Christopher Kokoski once again delivers clear, no-nonsense guidance on an integral part of traditional publishing: the query letter.
What Will You Learn?
Query Letter Swipe File breaks down the components of a solid query letter and then compartmentalizes them so that you can fill in the blanks based on your particular story. By presenting the information in a way that is flexible and easy to customize, Kokoski shows his deep understanding of how varied the literary world can be. Many authors still attempt to teach people with a one-size-fits-all approach.
How Is Information Presented?
The format is easy and quick to read / swipe through (hence the title). This is a fantastic book to have in your physical and digital library as a go-to reference for every query letter you’ll ever write. The paragraphs are short and casual. The language is easy to understand and doesn’t get bogged down in a bunch of technical jargon that slows down or confuses readers of some non-fiction. I truly believe that just about anyone could pick up this book and write a decent query letter–even if they’ve never done it before (like me!).
What Should You Look Out For?
It looks like there were a few typos present that may catch you off guard upon first reading, but it’s easy to get past them because of how the templates are set up. For example, in template #4 (the one I used for the query letter I’ve included), the copy read:
“In [BESTSELLING AUTHOR IN YOUR GENRE] meets
[BESTSELLING BOOK OR MOVIE IN YOUR GENRE], this
story blends [GENRE COMPONENT], [GENRE
COMPONENT] and [GENRE COMPONENT] with [GENRE
So, as written, if completed, this section of my query letter might read:
“In Stephen King meets IT, this story blends childhood trauma, horror, and mystery with fantasy.”
which doesn’t make a lot of sense. But I believe he meant that you might say something like:
“In Stephen King’s novel IT, childhood trauma, horror, and mystery are blended with fantasy.”
What Will You LOVE About This Book?
The standout feature of Query Letter Swipe File is definitely the list of words and phrases that you can insert into the templates as you please. This means that Kokoski has done all the heavy lifting for you concerning how to word the openings, endings, and transitions that you’ll need to strengthen your query letter. I love it when instructions and tasks are made as simple as possible, and Kokoski has definitely done that in this book!
Final Verdict: 5 / 5 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐⭐⭐
Query Letter Swipe File by Christopher Kokoski is fully loaded with everything you need to quickly and easily get a query letter constructed that will help you present your work in the best way possible.
I am a self-published author ONLY! I have never had to write a query letter and don’t know that I will ever have the desire or need to. However, in order to review this book, I did actually write a short query letter for Show Her using a template that was included in the book. You can read it at the end of the review.
About the Author
Learn more about Christopher Kokoski on his website: www.ChristopherKokoski.com.
Sample Query Letter for Show Her
Dear Supre Agente,
Based on your interest in dystopian and romantic literature, Show Her would be a perfect piece for you to represent.
Erika Wogo knows how to live a life that is the envy of everyone around her. She meticulously maintains her outward appearance, adheres to her husband’s every demand without question, and even passes her knowledge of being a proper wife on to others who are willing and eager to learn how to become (and stay) married.
But when a co-worker confesses to having an affair with Erika’s husband, Erika’s world view is shaken and the countdown to Erika’s divorce–and permanent social ruin–begins. Erika knows that it is only a matter of time before her husband will formally end their “purchase agreement” and leave her divorced and tainted for the rest of her life.
With a mix of cunning, determination, and sophisticated bio-weaponry, Erika does all she can to defend her marriage and her reputation against her husband’s infidelity. But, as adept as she is at managing her rivals in love, her loyal followers, her public persona, and the ex-boyfriend who still loves her without question, she will inevitably have to face the consequences of her nefarious actions.
Show Her is a dystopian psychological thriller blended with science fiction and romance. Show Her is a complete novella at 23,320 words. Please note that this is a simultaneous submission.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
T. L. Curtis