I once attended a conference panel where an agent said that when he was reading unsolicited material, he found that he was looking for reasons to say no. 

We receive dozens and dozens of queries each week (and these are read on the commute home, on the weekends, after work), there is always a temptation to read with a closed mind so that you can clear your desk. 

In this interview with the infamous Andrew Wylie – he says he judges each manuscript on the opening sentence of a cover letter. If it passes, then he looks at the title (already at this stage, this is 80% of refusals). 

Although most agents will not be using this method, don’t give an agent a reason to say no. 

Some common mistakes are here.