Monday, May 7, 2012

What not to do in your query

What not to do in your query:

Don't do this.

But it sure makes for a good Monday morning laugh.

Breakdown of some of the "faults" of the mock query sent to Janet Reid, Query Shark:

  • started the query with a character other than the main character
  • ridiculous description
  • focused too much time on minuscule details and mostly ignored the plot
  • claimed to be a murder mystery without mentioning who died
  • misspellings
  • described the story as "funny" (never describe your own story as anything! Let the agent figure out what to call it.)
  • compared her work to literary masters
  • compared her work to wildly different genres that don't blend well together
  • had a 350,000 word manuscript
  • threatened to stalk the agent
  • considered getting a joke published to be "publishing credentials"
  • attached a file without agent's express permission
  • rated the story
  • included a quote from a friend
What other query-killing mistakes can you find? (Once you stop laughing, that is!)

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