A word (or 604) of thanks:
I am writing this letter before you post my last revisions to my query letter. I have faith in my writing (as much as any of us do) and have thick skin, so I am hopeful I will be published someday. I will always believe this is due to you and both of your blogs, regardless of who my agent will be someday. This is because I am certain you will be the reason I get an agent in the first place. Without your help, I would have soldiered on in my ignorant ways.
Before I queried The Shark, I read through the posting guidelines and other information. I followed your business blog for the last few weeks. This past weekend I read through many of your posts, dating way back to when you started posting. Not because I am a stalker, but because they are a wealth of information. Not only that, but you are one funny lady.
When I said many of your posts, I meant even ones that had nothing to do with queries, publishing, pitfalls, and the like. Regardless of your 'snark' at times, your free and independent spirit shines through, as does your heart. A couple of your posts regarding how much writers mean to you (and how brave we can be) brought a tear to my eye. Your genuine gratitude for those who work so hard to have their voices heard is moving. We know you fight for your clients and the staff that supports you. We know you will stand up for a cause if it deserves attention. We know you have our best intentions at heart.
I am writing this letter of gratitude before you wash your hands of my query letter in training (because I think it's time to free you of it and let you help others), but will not send it until after you post the revisions -for obvious reasons. In case they are not obvious, I will state at least one: I do not want you to go easier on me just because I thanked you. I want an unbiased thrashing of what I've written.
Your assistance has been invaluable, and your blog a great gift. I know I have already thanked you at the bottom of my query, but I fear you will think I was just sucking up. I have no expectation you will ask for pages or have interest in my manuscript, and that sets well with me. I was one of many who asked for help and you chose me as the one who needed it most (possibly because I was the most pathetic). That means more to me than I can say. You were under no obligation to help me at all, but you did.
And that is what makes you one of the finest agents in the business. There is always a bottom line, always the consumer and the stockholders of publishers to consider, but you also consider the writer. You help who you can. You pluck people from the sea by the scruff of their shirts with your mighty jaws and toss them onto the shore. I know your clients appreciate you, as well as your support staff, bloggers, and many others. But I wanted you to know I appreciate you, too.
It has been a pleasure being ripped to shreds. Keep those teeth sharp.
With actual sincerity,
PS: I removed all the bad 'that's again before sending. See how well your lessons stick?