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

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Content Savvy

Okay, you’ve selected a powerful subject line, and you’ve identified the right person, address, and salutation. It’s time now for the focal point of your message: the e-mail query content. You need to be succinct but still maintain the agent’s or editor’s interest. Organize your copy and avoid large, meandering blocks of type that might cause the agent to lose focus. Short, crisp paragraphs are best to hold the attention of your reader. It’s a fine balance, true, but if you keep to the following suggestions, you’ll be able to walk it just fine:
• Start your letter with a “hook” to get the agent’s or editor’s interest, and then go right into your idea.
• Keep the body of the content to one or two paragraphs (100 to 200 words total). ...

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