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

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Keep It Professional

E-mail has a way of feeling very informal, especially because we use it for everything from updating our Facebook status to instant-messaging a friend sitting three seats away at a concert. Even at work, we may use little smiley faces and other emoticons and abbreviations such as LOL to make sure the recipient doesn’t misinterpret an ironic phrase as a nasty remark or a nanosecond rant as an angry riff.
But when it comes to e-mail queries, you have to be extra careful. Don’t let the sometimes casual etiquette e-mail rules invite you into being too informal in your query pitch. You must think of your query as a business pitch. Everything about it—from the e-mail address it comes from to the name of the person to whom it’s ...

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