How long should a query be? Surely it depends on the nature of the work, competing editions and the book’s market segment, your publishing history, whether you know the agent or publisher, and things like that, right?

And it seems likely that queries these days would be shorter than they used to be, since new media, along with the decline in public education, has helped to bring about an age of information snacking, in which we have largely lost the habit of extended continuous reading.

But agent Nathan Bransford says it’s simpler than that. He recently did a survey of 180 queries he received. Looking at the length distribution of the queries, and considering the mss. he called for, he concludes that the “sweet spot” for query letters is 250-350 words.

So now you know.

BTW, I did a check of the last query letter I wrote, and it came in at 325 words.