Like every other aspiring writer out there, I've read a multitude of books written to help unpublished authors successfully query agents and pen a concise synopsis of their work. I have also found a plethora of agent blogs that showcase query letters, both good and bad. The bad ones really need no comment ... once you read them, the agent doesn't really need to tell you why they decided to pass on that particular piece of work.
It's the ones they find compelling enough to request more from that I find titillating. One blog I read showcases successful query letters on a regular basis. The letter is printed in its entirety, then the agent describes what it was about the letter that led them to request all or part of the manuscript, which in most cases, led to an offer to represent them and a publishing contract.
Reading the letters and the agent comments only reinforced my decision to be a writer, as I would not be a very good agent. They have the ability to select works that don't appeal to their own personal taste, but know what is selling, and those are the ones they select.
As a rule, I do not enjoy paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi plots. You know the Twilight Saga that made a gazillion dollars in books, movies, posters, t-shirts, etc.? I would have passed on that and missed out on all that money. I probably wouldn't have even had the courtesy to respond to the query with a "no thank you" ... I would have rolled my eyes and hit delete.
I did, however, read and enjoy The Hunger Games trilogy. Although it probably falls into the "fantasy" category, it read to me as though it was set in the future, and the things described were plausible.
That's what I look for ... plausible. No ghosts, no vampires, no fairies or other non-existent things. While there is a HUGE audience for that kind of work, it just doesn't do anything for me.
I would not be a good agent, but I am a good writer. Writing for me is easy, finding an agent, however, is not. A lot of famous and fabulously wealthy authors have been passed on by agents who did not see the value in their work, and ended up missing out on a real gravy train. Knowing it's hard does not deter my quest for the elusive unicorn ... er ... agent! I just have to find an agent who sees the potential in my work. He/she is out there ... I just have to find them :)