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The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Book Proposals & Query Letters by Coleen O'Shea, Marilyn Allen

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Why Query?

A query letter is the first impression of your work. It has to accurately yet persuasively present you and your project. Your ultimate goal is to get the recipient to request more material. If your work is fiction, good writing is the key. You want the agent to be eager to read more, so say up front that you have a finished manuscript. If your work is nonfiction, you have to sell your concept, hook the recipient, and state that your proposal and sample chapters are available. You’ll still need to do some work once you’re in (that’s when you’ll need a book proposal, which we’ll cover in Parts 3 and 4).
An agent or editor receives hundreds of e-mails and letters a week, and more times than not, your query letter will be given a quick ...

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