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

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What to Send to the Agent

You’ve done your homework; your novel is in perfect shape; you have written the three essential documents (short synopsis, cast of characters, and expanded synopsis); and your proposal package is complete (see Part 4). You need to assemble these core proposal materials along with a writing sample. What size writing sample should you send? We suggest three sequential chapters that show the characters, action, and details in the strongest light. It’s a mistake to ignore an agent’s request and send more text than they ask for. They’re very busy, and they don’t want to read 320 pages when they’ve asked for 50.
Now for the good part. Recheck the agency’s e-mail requesting more material, review the agency’s guidelines for ...

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