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

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Ground Rules Unique to Fiction

Fiction is much more arbitrary than nonfiction. Personal taste has a lot more to do with acceptance than with nonfiction. Its commerciality can be subtler: word of mouth can be an extraordinary selling tool. If you have attended a writers’ workshop and received early advance praise from a published author, that’s a powerful thing to add to your query letter.
It can be harder to sell fiction than nonfiction, especially if you are a first-time author. Part of a fiction writer’s platform is longevity—their list of published works—although editors do also love to announce a debut novel by an unknown and help forge their literary career. Thus, the query letter must get to the point quickly, but must also be compelling ...

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