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

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First (Cyber) Impressions Count

Some publishing professionals estimate that only 1 percent of all queries ever result in representation. Put another way: for every 100 queries an agent reads, only one author has a shot at becoming a client. Yes, that means the odds are against you—but they aren’t impossible. As the adage goes, “You gotta be in it to win it.” Increase your chances of getting into that coveted 1 percent by following a few simple ground rules before you even keystroke the word “Dear.”
We all know that first impressions matter, but with an e-mail query that’s usually all you get. So that first contact has to be your best. But there is one fact that gives you an advantage: editors and agents need you because publishing has a pipeline ...

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