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

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Query Letter “Don’ts”

Some of the things to avoid in your query letter are obvious, but others are not. Here is a list of what to avoid:
Don’t be self-effacing. It might be charming in person, but your query letter has to show confidence. If you aren’t sure about your experience or book idea, why should an agent or editor be?
Don’t mention who has already received and rejected your work. No one has to know who rejected you. It’ll just make this editor or agent think twice about rejecting you, too.
Don’t ask about money and deal terms. There is a time and place for everything, and money discussions are never mentioned until you are in contract discussions with a publisher.
Don’t request advice. An editor or agent has to offer enough comments ...

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