Here's yer extract. It's pre-proof-reading, btw.
A few less reassuring but equally important points
Although the agent wants your work to be wonderful, she does not expect it to be. That’s because most submissions are awful. Yours won’t be awful, because you’re going to listen to what I tell you.
But trust me when I say that some submissions look as though they were written by someone who has drunk too much of a suspect substance and then spent a week at the University of Delusion. In fact, some writers actually claim that their book was written by God or came to them in a dream. You would be astonished how many times God is credited with influencing a writer; frankly, I’m surprised He doesn’t get Himself more mentions in the acknowledgements. The general awfulness of submissions makes it easier for everyone else to shine, but it does make the agent nervous about exactly what might be in the envelope or email. Naked photos are another occupational hazard and it does horrible things to one’s recently consumed breakfast when something like that falls onto one’s lap.
The letter may be as far as she goes. Although the actual book is the most important thing by far, if your covering letter contains too many cardinal errors which indicate a crazy, illiterate or severely ill-informed author, the weary agent may not get as far as reading your actual manuscript. And one of the things you are going to learn in this book is just how many ways there are to look like a total divot in one short letter.
You have no idea what sort of mood the agent is in. Assume it’s a bad one. Aim to surprise with the clarity and common sense of your approach.
There are many (very many) mistakes to be made in covering letters. Some are obvious but others are not until someone points them out. I am going to point them out. I will take great pleasure in it. No one who reads this book will write a crappy covering letter; trust me.
Dear Agent will be available on Amazon on August 10th (and shortly afterwards elsewhere) for the STUPID price of 75p(ish) for THREE DAYS ONLY. And for that same time, so will Write a Great Synopsis. Tell the world! Well, writers, anyway...
There's another giveaway on Twitter today. Look out for @mllouisekelly's giveaway tweet. And see last Wednesday's post for a Pick Me opportunity. And my Facebook page (scroll down to the post that starts "To celebrate...") for more Dear Agent giveaways.
I'm currently doing major prep for the Edbookfest. I'll be the one with a glazed look.