How to Establish a Connection With an Agent

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Previously, I wrote about the three basic parts of a query letter to an agent. In part one (the first paragraph), I recommend explaining two things: what the book is and why you're contacting the agent. To address this second aspect, I thought I'd mention the most common ways to establish a "connection" with an agent.

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1. "I read your interview..."

Dear Ms. Agent:

I recently read your interview on the Guide to Literary Agents blog and saw that you're a huge baseball fan. To say I'm a huge fan of the game is like saying Captain Ahab had a slight interest in some whale. Because of our mutual love of baseball, I thought you might be a good fit for my middle-grade novel, Bottom of the Ninth...

2. "Thanks for speaking with me at XYZ Conference..."

Dear Ms. Agent:

Thank you for speaking with me at the Wyoming Writers Conference about my Western romance, Saddle Up. It was very nice to talk with you, and I enjoyed listening to your publishing advice. As you requested, I have submitted a query and the first ten pages of my novel...

3. "Because you represented (that), I think you might like (this)..."

Dear Ms. Agent:

I'm not sure, but I think I was at sitting in a coffeeshop the first time I overheard two people talking about Dead Cat Bounce. Curious, I picked up the book at Borders and finished it the same day. When I learned you were the literary agent that represented this amazing medical thriller, I knew I wanted to query you regarding my own book, Injection, which is complete at 86,000 words.