For those aspiring writers who want to see their work published, approaching publishers and agents can be a minefield.
The covering letter outlining your idea has got to be stunning and original if it's not to get filed instantly under 'forget.'
Janet Reid is a New York literary agent, and she has put some of her responses to those letters, known in the trade as 'Query Letters', in a blog called Queryshark.
She explains to the BBC's Dan Damon how aspiring writers can make the right first impression.
First broadcast 30 September 2009
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