Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You Know Your Query Letter Sucks When You CC It to a Dozen Agents at the Same Time

I wanted to vomit when I saw this. It was just so sad to see a perfectly skilled writer ruin their chances of landing an agent. They actually CC'd the same query letter to a bunch of agents all at the same time.

Now, come on now! Seriously. Don't you hate it when you get those FWD's and chain letters warning you that you'll have 500 years of bad luck and eternal damnation if you don't forward their email to 3000 of your closest friends?

It's the same way with agents. They know you're simultaneously querying other agents but why rub it in their face? It's not necessary.

You need to make each query letter unique and make the agent feel that you understand exactly what their needs and desires are when receiving submissions. You can see some great examples of personalized queries here:

Yes, they know you're querying other agents. They're not stupid, but they don't want to hear about it. It's kind of like when you're first dating someone. You know you're not exclusive yet but you don't want to hear them talk about the passionate hot steamy sex they had with someone else the night before. No, and the same goes for an agent. They want to be treated as special.

If you send a bulk email out to them and 30 other agents, no one is going to respond to you other than to ask you to take them off the list. That's not what you want.

Write a unique query letter tailored for each potential agent and you'll be one step closer to landing an agent. If you would like to see an example of query letters that worked, visit:

Remember, you only have one shot with these agents, so make sure your query letter is as solid as possible. If you need help writing a winning query letter, email and we'll help you. 100% of the query letters we've ghost-written have received requests from at least 10 top agents to read the manuscripts or proposals.

Jeff Rivera is the founder of He and his works have been featured or mentioned in Publishers Weekly, GalleyCat, Mediabistro, Los Angeles Times, New York Observer, NPR and many other media outlets.
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