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Chiquita Banana
05-15-2009, 04:24 PM
This is a random question. I'm just wondering... when an agent receives a package containing a covering letter, a synopsis and the first three chapters, what does he/she look at first?

I'm submitting in the UK, so the covering letter isn't nearly as tricky as the query letter.

Of course I know the order in which things get read probably varies but I wonder if it happens in one particular order more often than in others. (Here's hoping it's not covering letter - synopsis - chapters!) :)

DeleyanLee
05-15-2009, 04:38 PM
From what I've heard over the years, it does vary, but generally it's a toss-up between the chapter and the letter first. Synopsis is generally read only if the chapter grabs their attention.

But that's feedback from American agents and editors. I don't know about the UK.

Chiquita Banana
05-15-2009, 06:05 PM
A toss-up isn't too bad! If 50% of agents are looking at the chapters first, that's definitely good news.

justAnotherWriter
05-15-2009, 10:13 PM
After reading the synopsis, how can the agent possibly know if the book works? If you know everything that's going to happen, that affects your perception of pacing, foreshadowing and more.

DeleyanLee
05-15-2009, 10:16 PM
After reading the synopsis, how can the agent possibly know if the book works? If you know everything that's going to happen, that affects your perception of pacing, foreshadowing and more.

The purpose of the synopsis, so I've been told, is just to see how the author handles conflict and stakes, nothing else. Certainly doesn't ruin the experience of the book for the experienced reader.

scarletpeaches
05-15-2009, 10:16 PM
After reading the synopsis, how can the agent possibly know if the book works? If you know everything that's going to happen, that affects your perception of pacing, foreshadowing and more.

Actually, no. It makes you more aware of how the writer used such tools.