Writing Books/query letter


QUESTION: Hello Cathy.

In an agent-query letter, the title of the book in question is normally italicized. My question: would it be seen as unprofessional to set it in bold italics?

Regards (& Happy New year!)

ANSWER: Hi, Dan!

No, not at all. You can italicize, bold or even put it in ALL CAPS. You just want the agent to recognize it as something other than normal text. There's no set standard, so you should be fine!

Good luck, and let me know if you have any other questions. :)


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Follow-up:

I expect you do not, and will surely understand if you do not, but boldness demands I ask if you offer criticism of query letters.

Dan O'Hanlon

Well, you're welcome to send it along, but I'll have to warn you that I have very limited time right now. I'm on deadline and still have another 30K words to write by the end of next week...so it's hit or miss whether I'll be able to. Still, if you don't mind waiting, hit the private reply and paste it in. :)  Cathy

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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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