I hesitate to write anything about query letters because writing about them usually comes across sounding harsh. However, I would like to throw out some information that I think will help writers out in this area.
Isn’t a query’s job to invite the agent to see some of your writing? Queries shouldn’t have word counts higher than most complete literary works and you CAN find word-count information on the internet. Writers should be able to describe their writing in something smaller than a chapter-by-chapter outline and should be able to detail their qualifications without giving the agent their complete life’s experience. We have found that people in some professions are more guilty of wordiness than others, but you won’t catch us listing those professions here.
A query, after all, is nothing more than a short business letter. Include important stuff like word count, type of book, title, genre, etc. Tell a LITTLE about your book as pages of dry narrative put agents (and editors and readers) to sleep. Additionally, poems and short stories are not long fiction—there is a vast difference—so don’t list them as qualifications unless you are querying us on a poetry book or short story collection, neither of which we handle. Any prior novel writing experience, published or unpublished, is important as it tells us that this isn’t your first attempt at long fiction.
I tried to make this as short as I would like the queries I receive to be by including only the information I want to get across. Hope it helps.