There are a number of reasons why a literary agent many not be willing to read your script. Maybe they aren’t looking for a new screenplay at the moment, or maybe from your query letter they just don’t think your screenplay pitch has what it takes? Rejection is a normal part of Hollywood and chances are you’re going to get rejected a lot more than not. The only way you have a chance of getting an agent to read your script is for your query letter to sell them on reading it.
Many new writers fall prey to some common mistakes when typing up their query letter. Here are some tips to writing the perfect query letter and how to avoid the common mistakes that will no doubt cause a literary agent to reject your script.
1. First of all, your query letter should hook a literary agent.
The purpose is to give the literary agent just enough information to keep them engaged and want to know what happens next, but not tell too much. If you hook them and engage them in your story and the story is really good, they will want more.
2. Keep in mind that you’re not only pitching your story, but yourself.
There are so many writers sending these agents their scripts that you must set yourself apart from them. Prove why the literary agent should read your script over the hundreds of others they receive.
3. Address your letter to a specific agent’s name.
Never address a letter to “whom it may concern.” If you don’t take the time to find out the literary agent’s name, then they will assume you don’t know what you are doing and they will not take the time to even read your letter.
The perfect query letter still doesn’t guarantee that the agent will request your script, but you will dramatically increase your chances. There are professionals who will help you make the perfect query letter. Sometimes hiring a marketing professional is the best way for a writer new to Hollywood to get the attention of a literary agent, so you can focus on writing the screenplay itself and you can also make sure your marketing is done properly and that your script is presented professionally.