Thursday, September 03, 2009

Dumb Things Said In Query Letters

Here, severely paraphrased, are some things I've encountered recently in query letters.

"No one has ever written about recovering from sexual abuse before."

"After sending the first 3 chapters when requested and getting universally rejected, I've decided to send two later chapters unrequested in hopes that they will make a better impression."

"Frankly, this book is exactly what the world needs right now."

Think before you speak.

23 comments:

Rebecca Knight said...

Yikes O_o.

Scary thing is... maybe these people DID think before they sent, and this is what they came up with.

Anonymous said...

please post more dumb things! please! I need an ego boost!

suzie said...

How about "This is the next Harry Potter/Twilight/Da Vinci Code and it will appeal to everyone from 8 to 98 years old"? hahaha.

SB said...

Oh, how our over-inflated egos get the best of us...

I can assure you that I definitely won't put things like that in my query once I write it.

Sure, chances are I'll end up saying something else that makes me look stupid, but at least not *this* stupid.

Jm Diaz said...

I agree, post more stupid things. This is almost as entertaining as going to Walmart past midnight. Now THERE is a sight!

TLH said...

Oh man this makes me feel great about my queries. I thought I was dumb!

The Rejecter said...

I don't really have a lot of other dumb things to post. In general, people do things they shouldn't do (talk too much about themselves, etc) but don't say anything that really stands out as being outrageous unless they're hawking some new age miracle cure. Plus I don't like to post specifics because I protect the anonymity of people who submit queries.

Lucy Woodhull said...

I thought what the world needed now was love, sweet love. After all, no one has ever written about love before. Except me!

Tara said...

Goal accomplished: I laughed out loud.

Lydia Sharp said...

I'm sure at some point the constant stupidity isn't funny anymore and just gets irritating. I don't envy you one bit.

Queen of the Road said...

How about "I've written a fiction novel."

The Rejecter said...

I tend to give people a pass on "fiction novel." A lot of people don't, but I think it's a pretty common and harmless mistake and not worth a rejection.

Etiquette Bitch said...

funny, enjoyable, and educational. will you please make this a regular feature?

Travener said...

I may just set myself up as a "literary agent" just to see what kind of illiterate queries I receive.

www.thebiglitowski.blogspot.com

_*Rachel*_ said...

Ow, wow. I love this, I really do... and I so want to send the bad query I wrote for EE's writing prompt. I'm sure someone would enjoy it. But I think I'm just scared someone might actually like the sick, OCD humor and request a partial.

Chazz said...

Um. Guys. Listen to what you're saying. Other people's failures make you feel good about yourselves. Hm.

I'm guessng that when your queries fail--and most of them will--that will be The Rejecter's fault.

I attended a writing workshop today. I felt like I was attending a class that could just as easily be titled, "How to Win the Lottery!"

Wow Gold said...

wow ! what a blog

Ellen said...

A "Best of" bad query letters book would be pee-in-your-pants fun to read, at least for insiders.

You haven't mentioned query letters from people in prison. I get a lot of queries from incarcerated would-be authors and they have a special flavor all of their own.

The Rejecter said...

We get letters from prisoners all the time, but it doesn't mean they're necessarily interesting. Especially after the 500th one.

Wild Child said...

Despite all the resources on the web, in blogs, in books about writing query letters, I'm so surprised that there's people out there not researching what to say and how to say it. We are in an information rich age and there's plenty of avenues to take to find out how to do the best you can. I think it just makes me sad.

MarkBeyer said...

Scary they might be, but agents and editors ARE looking for the next Harry Potter and Da Vinci Code. They care little for books, however.

the Lola Letters said...

Wow, I just laughed out loud.
I am laughing all by myself in bed.
That's how good that was.

Well, I'M currently writing an AMAZING (and practically life changing) book about an awkward, bumbling human girl who falls desperately and irrevocably in love with a totally hot vampire who thirsts for her blood.

No one has EVER written a book about the struggles that human girls must overcome while crushing on awesome-looking, sweet, and totally considerate "vegetarian" vampires before.

I'm giving YOU the chance to get in on a FIRST here, what do ya say?

Snarkysmachine said...

I read grant proposals (and write grants) for a living and often I get proposals that read like bad movie posters.

One even said, "This project is a tour-de-force!!!"

Really? A community garden?