Saturday, December 10, 2011

Book Marketing Makeovers - Query Letters That Work: Grab Them with the First Sentence

Guest post by Jeff Rivera

Agents are so busy nowadays they won't even give a query letter an entire paragraph to grab them.

If you've passed the first test, what I like to call the scan test (meaning it looks professional at first glance), then you'll be lucky to go on to the next test: the first sentence.

Literary Agents in 7 DaysThey might be patient enough to even give you the first few sentences but Honey, if you don't have it together by then, you can kiss your chances of landing that agent goodbye. There are so many different ways to grab an agent.

These are 5 of the techniques I use for my clients. I've ghostwritten over 100 query letters for clients successfully. 100% of them have interested at least 10 top agents that have requested to read their manuscript or book proposal. In other words, use these techniques - they work.

You don't need to use all of them, just choose one.

The Top 5 Ways to Grab an Agent with Your Very First Sentence

1) Start with a question that makes them ponder?

2) Talk about a dramatic moment in your personal life that connects with the book you've written

3) Tell them immediately about your platform

4) Compliment them on a specific recent sale

5) Tell them who referred you

Use one of the 5 suggestions above, 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:

Jeff Rivera

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.


The reader with the best comment on this guest post will win a CD interview of Samantha Ettus on how to brand yourself through social media and networking.

Special Book Marketing Makeover offer: 40% off book marketing and ebook promotion consulting with John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Order here:
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