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

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What Every Basic Query Letter Has

You’re probably getting the idea by now that writing a query letter isn’t as easy as dashing off an e-mail, and you’ll almost certainly write several versions before you settle on the best. But it’s time well spent, because it makes you really focus on your book, which will help you at every stage of the process. And, of course, the query letter is your only chance to hook an agent or editor into wanting to see more.
There are nine essential elements to a good query letter. They hold true for fiction as well as nonfiction queries, so read them closely.

The Opening

“Dear sir or madam,” “Dear agent,” “Dear Random House,” “To whom it may concern,” and other generic openings are good ways to send your unread ...

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