Submit a Portion of the Book With a Query?

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Q. I just have a brief question. I have read several articles regarding submissions of material to agents and how to write query letters, but none of the articles say if I am to include a small portion of my book or not. Any suggestions?
- Jennifer Killgore

A. There is no set rule, Jennifer, which is why you're not getting the answer you want. Each agent will say whether they want a sample of the book (a chapter, 20 pages, etc.) or not.
Once you research how to write a query, you will need to ID those agents you want to contact. Each agent wil have a different preference on how they want to be contacted, and whether that means sending only a query, sending a query and two chapters, or whatever else. The agents will tell you on their Web site, or you can find such information in agent directories such as the 2009 Guide to Literary Agents.