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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Q&A: On Dream Agents, Exclusives and Query Letters


There is one agent that is my dream agent. I am planning on sending my query letter to her first and waiting for her answer before I send to others. How do I let her know that I am doing this? What wording do I use?


As you know, I think we could all grow beards like Methuselah if we followed all the exclusivity rules we see on the web. However, when you have a "dream agent," by all means send an exclusive query letter letting her know she is first on your list. Just tell her that she is. But include why. Maybe in the last sentence. It could go something like this:

"This is an exclusive submission, (Her Name Here), because you come so highly recommended by xxx or because I feel your list of (name some books she represents) so closely matches my work or because the tone of your website feels comfortable to me or because I met you at XX conference and I felt an affinity for you.

That is just a few possible choices, of course. What's important is that your sincerity shines through. (-:

Carolyn, Your Trust Editor of Query Letters and Other Things. (-:

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults and speaks on issues of publishing. Find her The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success at Learn more about her other authors' aids at She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at It is a Writer's Digest Top 101 Website.

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