When an agent reads your query and synopsis, this proves you're on the right track . . . so far. You've captured their interest. Next, they want to know if you truly are the skilled story teller you appear to be. How can you ensure they scroll down the screen and read every bit of your submitted manuscript?
Begin your story with 350 captivating words. Even though you've created a slam-dunk query and compelling synopsis, your first words must provide sufficient impact to keep the momentum going. Or stop it dead in its tracks and send your submission off to delete-ville.
Publishing is a business. Agents are business people. They're not looking for a manuscript to read. They're looking for a manuscript they can sell to a publisher who will transform it into a book that generates cash flow for everyone down the line: retailer, publisher, agent, and you, the writer.
Once you sign a publishing contract, and your book goes into production, it becomes the focus of a gang of editors, book designers, advertising specialists, etc. They'll revise and amp up your first 250 words to create a captivating first page to engage the reader and motivate a page turn. Then what? Kaching! Kaching! Book store sale$.
This is why it's vital to engage agent interest (and motivate them to keep reading) by including one or more of the following in your manuscript first 350 words:
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