You Know Your Query Letter Sucks When … You CC it to Agents at the Same Time

by | Apr 4, 2011 | Book Marketing Basics

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I wanted to vomit when I saw this. It was just so sad to see a perfectly skilled writer ruin his or her chances of landing an agent.  The same query letter was CC’d to a bunch of agents all at the same time.

Letter from Lady Helena Gleichen addressing th...

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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 3,000 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.

Picture of an open book, that does not show an...

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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 someone else.  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 tell you to “Take me off the list.” That’s not what you want.


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Write a unique query letter tailored for each potential agent and you’ll be one step closer to landing an agent.

Author Jeff Rivera in New York City's East Vil...

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Guest post by Jeff Rivera, who is the founder of  With over 100 clients to date, he has a 100% track record of getting at least 10 literary agents to request to read his client’s manuscripts and proposals.


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  1. Sierra Gardner

    I imagine a query letter is very similar to a resume. A smart person looking for a job would never consider sending a resume to an employer and cc’ing all the other potential employers in the same email. It looks lazy and unprofessional. Employers and agents both want to feel like you took the time to research them and personalize your approach.

    • Paula


      Exactly! Take the time to do the research and send a query that reflects the best you have to offer… just like you’d do with a resume. Thanks for stopping by!


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