How do I get agents/producers to read my Query Letter?

This question was recently sent to me via my Facebook account

Hey, Eric. Been writing for a long time. Have a couple produced films and have sold several others (in Texas, where it pays nothing). You talk about writing great query letters, but it doesn’t seem like any reputable agents/managers want to read them. You can’t talk about your work or they send it back with a letter from their lawyer. I know this is a huge Catch-22, but what the hey?!! Any advice?

Good question.

There are a lot of bigger agents/managers/producers who are difficult to reach – I completely agree.

However, there are a number of mid-level reps who still read query letters, and are open to new clients.  Those are probably the best ones to target.  Think B-level writers/actors.  Find out who reps them and target those agencies, etc. (IMDB Pro is a great place to start, of course.)

How is your query letter?  You state you’ve done some writing, so I’m assuming it is very solid.  (If you’re not sure, you may want to see my post How to Write a Query Letter)

After your solid query letter, did you follow up with a very polite and professional phone call or note?  Two or three weeks after you sent the query, feel free to contact the party in VERY POLITE and RESPECTFUL manner.  You might even get them to read it RIGHT THEN, or if you follow up every few weeks, eventually they’ll probably take a look.

You CAN get people to read your stuff.  It’s all about being professional, polite, and persistent.

Again, this may not apply to the larger places, as they sometimes will simply not read any queries from writers who are not referred.

Yet, sometimes you can catch a junior agent who is on the lookout for new talent…

Generally though, shoot for the smaller places first.  They just might give you a shot.

Hope that helps, and …



2 Responses to How do I get agents/producers to read my Query Letter?

  1. Richard says:

    I’d say that helps some, but doesn’t the real money come from royalties in the end? I’ll grant that different markets very in pay, but does it really make that much of a difference if I sell my work in Texas or L. A.?

  2. Eric says:

    I’m not sure you should expect too many royalties on your first couple of script sales, so I’d try to get the money up front.

    As for selling your work in Texas…sure, I imagine it’s possible. The writer who sent me the question may not have had much luck, but if you find a production company who wants to pay you, it doesn’t matter much where they are.