Friday, May 31, 2013

Adventures in Query Land, Part II

Adventures in Query Land:

Top Ten Ways to Annoy an Editor or Agent

1.  Do not check your letter for spelling errors.  In fact, make several typos in the first sentence.  That'll reel 'em in!

2.  Start your letter with a really corny little snippet of wisdom.  You know, some kind of quote like, "Every step we take in life moves us in some direction."

3.  Use incredibly tiny font; so small that they have to strain their eyes even more than usual to read it.  Also, use some crazy font that will give your letter some pizzazz! 

4.  Make sure your letter is longer than one page.  Agents and editors have loads of free time and would like nothing better than to spend oodles of it on your query alone.

5.  Be sure to include contact info that is really complicated.  For example, "You can reach me at this address, but only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The rest of the week I can be reached at this number, but don't call it before ten in the morning because my roommate likes to sleep in.  Also, I'm moving in a week, so after that my new address will be..."  

6.  Go ahead and use the same generalized query for anything and everything you submit.  Don't bother with any kind of specific salutation. 

7.  Use an entire paragraph to explain that you understand how busy they are and how valuable their time is.  That's not wasting more of their time at all...

8.  Make really grand claims like, "My novel appeals to everyone and I guarantee it will sell millions of copies!"

9.  Tell them about how painstaking the writing process was and how hard you've worked on your novel.  That fact alone makes it good.

10.  Be incredibly vague when describing your book and use cliches like, "It's a coming of age novel about a woman who is looking for love."  What a hook!

(P.S. These are NO-NO's.  Please don't do them.  Research query writing before you submit.  It will be worth the effort!)