For example, a standard requested format for a manuscript query letter to a literary agent could be approximately 200–400 words, expressing the following information:
- The topic of the work
- A short description of the plot
- A short bio of the author
- The target audience
The literary agent would then decide whether to contact the author and request to see the manuscript, based on the contents of the query letter. In this sense, the query letter is an author's first step toward getting his or her manuscript published.