Saturday, May 7, 2011

Very perplexing complaint

I don't get many complaints about QueryShark. In fact, none before this one.

Recently I sent a link to the QS to someone querying me. His query didn't work very well, and I thought I was offering him a second chance.

"Go to QueryShark.blogspot.com to see how this is done," I wrote.

Here's part of what he wrote back:

 I see no reason to pussyfoot around so I will simply say that, from my perspective, Query Shark is a scam and I think you should be ashamed of yourself for being involved.  I know the site probably makes you a lot of money, but those poor people who subscribe to the “service” seem to be desperate to have their work published.  Out of that desperation, they spend their hard earned money and valuable time, trying to get their Query into a form that you find acceptable.  






The only thing I can think of is that he saw "subscribe to this blog" and thought it meant send money. It doesn't. "Subscribe to this blog" is the way to enter this blog into your Google reader or other feed service so you know when it's updated. It's possible someone might not know this if they are unfamiliar with GoogleReader or RSS feeds.



QueryShark is free.

I don't charge you money to send a query, or critique your query if it's chosen.

You don't pay me; I don't pay you.




I know, it's nuts not to monetize the one thing people are desperate to get: query help. Sorry. I like to make my money the old fashioned way: sell my client's books.  You'll just have to settle for this being absolutely free.  And effective.

105 comments:

Josin L. McQuein said...

Wow. That's... um... wow...

I suppose he gets top marks for knowing he shouldn't pay for a query critique.

I hope that writer sees this post. Maybe he'll find the information here more valuable knowing that it's intended solely to help.

steeleweed said...

Authors today need to be reasonably savvy about the Internet simply because promotion falls more on the author than it used to. It sounds like this person hasn't a clue, so maybe you're better off if they just go away and preserve their ignorance.

tamarapaulin said...

Laptop $900

Internet Access $45

High-waisted trousers $25

Getting your query shredded to wordy little pieces: PRICELESS!

Rebecca Knight said...

Wow, that is a head-scratcher... A lot of online subscriptions, even for things other than blogs, are free these days.

What the heck?

Noree Cosper said...

Wow, perhaps if he had read some of the useful information on the side, he would have seen that this is site is free advice.

Janet, thank for the time you take out of your schedule to do this. My story is no where near ready for querying (I still have to finish it), but this blog has helped in writing the first draft. I hope that when i do have a query ready I won't have to revise it because I will have learned what to do from here.

KO: The Insect Collector said...

As we say in the South, "bless their heart".
I think it's okay to make mistakes and to be a newbie (who hasn't been the newbie at least once), but this really shows that the person didn't read the site!
Argh!

Sarah said...

Wow that's odd! He writes as though he's actually seen the site and yet he can't possibly have if he thinks you're making money from it. I also think you're being charitable in your explanation. I find it really difficult to believe that someone who wishes to be a published author has never explored at least some of the wonderful help and advice available on the web and as such wouldn't know what 'subscribing' means, but I suppose it's possible.

The really sad thing is that he has cut himself off from one of the best resources that can offer him the help he obviously needs. Oh well, you can lead a horse to water and all that...

I'm interested to know if you emailed him back to put him straight or if you just left him to it?

SinMac said...

I think it's wonderful that you're willing to offer advice, rather than a form rejection. When I venture to dip my toes into the shark tank, I'll be prepared to wear the scars with pride....

christwriter said...

You know, I turned to my brother and said (pardon the french. It was a bad day) "The publishing industry has more ways to get fucked than the Karma Sutra"

Frankly I don't trust people who ask for money regarding my book, or anyone else's book. It turns me into a customer, and the first rule in customer service is (effectively) pucker up. Which I don't mind, as that's how I make my living.

Impressing you is an awesome thing (and something I hope to accomplish someday, like climbing Everest) because you DON'T charge money, you don't play games and (if you don't mind the bluntness) you're a bitch. Which makes it something that I can't do easily or PAY for.

There will always be people who just don't get it. Unfortunately, you can't do anything about those. They gotta get it first.

Riley Redgate said...

Oh, that poor, misinformed soul. He doesn't know what he's missing out on.

It may very well be nuts for you not to charge for the best advice in the querysphere, but thank you for doing it anyway. Your insight is invaluable.

Beth said...

FWIW, I love QS, just for the fun of reading it. The help it provides is nice too. Thanks for doing it.

Kristin Laughtin said...

Sounds like that writer needs to brush up on his research skills. After all, if there were a fee, wouldn't it be mentioned in the FAQ or the "How Query Shark Works" sections, both of which are waaaaaay above the subscription section.

Jodi R. said...

That's a shame - this is clearly a not-for-profit venture, and we are all eternally indebted to you for the FREE advice.

I think sometimes we can get blinded by our anger/disappointment/stupidity and just fire off a retort without taking in all the facts or taking that all-important breather/sober second look before hitting "send." I've done that before and bruised my ass kicking it afterwards.

I don't think you have to worry though - we know it's a public service you provide. Dude just jumped the gun in a fit of pique.

Or he's just an "chum-p" not worth worrying about anyway. :)

Sara J. Henry said...

I applaud your brain that you were able to figure out that he apparently misinterpreted "Subscribe to this blog" as "Pay money to submit your query" - don't think I would have thought of that in a million years.

MomCO3 said...

I'm sorry that happened. I'm glad I'm a subscriber-- and you didn't pay me to say that.

Caitlin said...

How on earth does he expect to become a successful writer if he fails at basic reading comprehension?

I am baffled.

Amy Armstrong, MS, NCC said...

Maybe he was confused or maybe this is one more sign that the freaks are out in force this month.

Bethany said...

I think we can at least admire his conviction? >.>

Marty said...

Personally I appreciate Query Shark VERY MUCH and I have yet to even composed a single query letter.

Botanist said...

Wow! This person clearly has no clue what is going on here.

You are graciously (OK, with a bit of gnawing and chewing) providing a most valuable service. And the best bit is, you don't need to have your query critiqued in order to get huge value from this site. It is greatly appreciated. Please don't let this one bad reaction spoil the show.

Renee Miller said...

Just...wow. That's a new one.

Anne Elodea said...

Don't let that guy get you down! Query Shark is wonderful and a valuable public service. You're right, he probably just misunderstood--it's almost funny how badly.

Keep on munching down on queries! A bite on Query Shark is a badge of honor.

Polenth said...

That's a new one. I wonder if he thought all blogs required money to subscribe?

Visnja said...

Clearly someone who neither has taken the time to do research (anyone who does any sort of research would learn about QueryShark), your agency (Again, the agency and you have a wonderful rep) or bothered to clink onto the link.

This is akin to the spoilt-brat kid who wants everything for nothing and rather than earn or deserve it, throws a tantrum.

I'm glad you shared, for selfish reasons, if more people react like this, then I have a better chance with a lit agent.

Ignore this person, they do not deserve your time in explaining yourself.

For my part, thanks, you do a wonderful and tireless service for nothing.

Mimi said...

Hmm. Sounds like a guppy.

Onward Query Shark!

jennybent said...

The ignorance level kind of reminds me of the bad old days when authors you turned down would accuse you of trying to steal their ideas. It's the same level of ignorance and paranoia.

Kathryn Paterson said...

Unbelievable. I really hope you laughed at this!

Bryce Daniels said...

I don't think I want to read the "rest" of what he wrote in his response. Just, umm....wow. Not only is he misinformed on how things work here, he needs a minor lesson in tact as well.

I, for one, am grateful for the sage advice I get in reading through the submissions and your critiques.

arhooley said...

It pays to be skeptical, and it pays to double-check. This author apparently didn't bother to go to the numerous well-known databases and forums where dicey agents are clearly distinguished from reputable ones.

earth said...

He obviously didn't even bother to read your blog. It's hard not to get mad when you go out of your way to help people and then have one of them come out and accuse you of something so ridiculous. You're a great agent, meaning you're good at your chosen profession and you go the extra step and offer your advice free to anyone who wants to listen (and there are plenty of us who do). Now how many professionals can you find like that? So thank you.

Katrina S. Forest said...

Another possible thought -- there's been reports on Writer Beware about agents who forward rejected authors to paid editing services. Maybe this person just didn't follow the link at all (or followed it but barely looked at anything) and thought that's what was happening here.

I realize this is a stretch, as I'm pretty sure anyone who reads Writer Beware is also aware of Query Shark (and how it's *free* advice), but you never know.

jacquie said...

Poor guy..trying to be a writer when he can't read. That has to be a monumental task. Seriously though, I feel the pain of his frustration in that snarky letter. Hope he gets thicker bones.

David Kazzie said...

Last week, Sarah Palin accused President Obama of "pussyfooting" around in deciding not to release the photos of bin Laden.

Coincidence? OR AUTHOR UNMASKED!

veela-valoom said...

Sometimes I think there are too many people on the internet who don't understand the internet.

Bane of Anubis said...

You could always tell him that he could unsubscribe at anytime... for a nominal fee, of course.

kei said...

Sounds like he was lashing out over being rejected. He will probably come back to the site 3 months from now and take a look then, but even if he doesn't it's his loss.

He should have been happy to get some kind of response other than a standard rejection letter.

Georganna Hancock M.S. said...

Sounds just like a few of the responses I get when I try to help people (for free) in public forums. As with yours, my blog is free for anyone to read and benefit from. Or ignore. A subscription is merely a convenience for them to receive the info in a form they like best.

My condolences.

Tina said...

Well crap...I was supposed to be sending money? :D

Tara Maya said...

I think Katrina Forrest is right; this author probably read about agents who send writers to manuscript critique services and get a kickback for it. Maybe he's even encountered such a so-called "agent" in the past. He had a knee-jerk reaction.

After all, what's easier to believe? That someone is out to screw you or that someone is offering a genuinely altruistic service? Sadly, the latter is more rare.

Tara Maya
The Unfinished Song: Initiate (UK)
The Unfinished Song: Initiate (US)

Robin said...

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The level of idiocy revealed in those few short sentences is staggering!

Anne R. Allen said...

This isn't an isolated incident.I wonder if there isn't some scam agent out there badmouthing the Shark.

Several squirrely comments have appeared recently on my old blogposts where I recommended QueryShark. They may be the work of this same conspiracy theorist. The comments all said stuff like "QueryShark is a scam. She has never sold a book to a royalty-paying publisher."

So I don't think this is just some newbie getting confused by Writer Beware. Something's afoot!

Trisha said...

Well, he's going to feel a little awkward when/if he sees this...lol

J.S. Schley said...

He's going to have a tough time with promotion if he doesn't know what subscribing to a blog is. Youch.

The amazing thing about this blog and so many other agent blogs is that they *are* free...and I'd hope this gentleman cottons on to the wealth of knowledge that's out there.

Gisele said...

I too see no reason to pussyfoot around so I will go ahead and say it:

Holy nescience, Batman!

Dear reluctant query writer, welcome to the wondrous world of the internet.

TheLabRat said...

Vela valoom, I'm going to borrow this gratuitously.

"Sometimes I think there are too many people on the internet who don't understand the internet. "

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

That is hilarious. Thanks for the laugh this (early) morning!

And thank you for offering such a priceless service, Janet.

Amy

Claire Dawn said...

Perplexing is right. How did he get that mixed up. Personally, I wonder at anyone who is querying in the American market and doesn't know what QS or Nathan Bransford or a few others are. But that's just me...

julienilson said...

Sounds like you dodged a bullet on that one. Someone who flies off the handle without actually reading the info you tried to provide is probably going to be difficult in lots of other ways too.

I think you're pretty awesome for trying to send him a helpful link instead of just a form response. If he'd paid attention, he might have learned something that would helkp his writing career.

Rachel6 said...

The best explanation that I can think of is that he confused "subscribe to the blog" with "subscribe to magazine", since you do pay for magazines. Which is still a stupid mistake to make.

QS is one of two blogs that I follow regularly. If I could only follow one, I'd pick QS. Thank you for all of your invaluable advice.

yamx said...

To me, it sounds more like he thinks the people whose queries you critique pay you for it, not regular readers. How he might have gotten that idea, I have no clue.

It's probably an ego thing. He can't fathom why you would turn down his, clearly brilliant, book, so he thinks you're trying to get him to pay you to critique his query before he re-submits, so you'll profit from him twice.

Michelle Julian said...

Is it possible this writer omitted the "blogspot" portion of the queryshark address. "queryshark.com" is a paid service that he might have gone to by accident.

Just a thought.

KathrineROID said...

Wow. Time to share a tip with the QS and other bloggers from one of the top blogging expert sources: Coppyblogger. Willy Franzen, one of their authors, increased his subscription rate by [i]over 250%[/i] simply by changing his "Subscribe by email" button to "Get [his blog name] by email."

Apparently the word association between "subscribe" and "pay money" are so strong. . . Anyways, here's his article on the subject with some fascinating insights: [b]http://www.copyblogger.com/increase-blog-subscribers/[/b]

I followed his advice - I think my subscribe button says "Free Updates" or something like that - but never really believed someone could actually think subscribing to a blog meant paying. Wow. Just wow. But I've been amazed at the ignorance some people have regarding blogging: I once had someone complaining I had no "followers box" on my blog. Took me a second to realize they thought that every blog was hosted on Blogger or something. :P

Geekamicus said...

Wow. Really? Wow, that's amazing. One of the things I try to do when starting a new venture is to educate myself as much as I possibly can. QS has helped me more than I can possibly say. I've learned so much here, from your comments and those of other posters on this site. I've always compared the advice here to basic training -- they tear you down so they can build you up better than you were. You just have to brave the tough talk and take the advice to improve. I've never understood people who are too pig headed to take the advice of experts.

(Oh, and QS is the first blog I ever "subscribed" to. I had to figure out that whole RSS thing just so I could get my fix of chum.)

Anne R. Allen said...

Does anybody read the comment thread? I really would like to know if anybody else is getting similar comments on their blogs badmouthing the Shark. The comments on mine have the same weird paranoid accusations as this querier implies. I saw one on another blog, but can't remember whose.

I always delete them, but now I wonder if I should save them and look for similarities in syntax--to figure out if there is one weirdo doing this, or a weirdo outfit with many minions.

Taymalin said...

@Jennybent--But my ideas are so original. No one else could possibly have come up with anything like it. It's genius, pure genius.

@theShark--I can't thank you enough for all that you do. I'm a regular reader of both of your blogs, and have learned a lot from them.

Christina Auret said...

You help a lot of people by doing this blog. Nothing clarifies advice like a good example. The things you highlight here are useful far beyond the writing of query letters. The examples illustrate what goes into good writing, not just good query writing.

This guy is missing out on all of that.

When someone shoots themselves in the foot this badly (he almost missed and hit his head), you have to feel a bit sorry for them.

Heather said...

Actually, that was my (less intense) response the first time someone referred me to your blog. Because my friend sent me to www.queryshark.com. I'm glad I found your real blog now, but I can understand the confusion.

Irene Troy said...

I think Anne (Allen) has the right read on this, although I’m not sure about the conspiracy. I’ve finally finished my memoir, or at least as much as it can be finished prior to beginning the query process. Because I am very new and unknowing about how to query memoir, I’ve been doing a lot of online research. Put aside the wrong information, the ignorant information and information that is plain batty and it comes down to query like fiction. So, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to what happens here and also searching other query advice sites. What I’ve found is, in some ways, a bit unsettling.

I’ve followed links to blogs and/or websites by would-be authors that, to put it bluntly, shock me. These folks sound as if they believe their work is the finest thing ever written and if told otherwise, they attack the critic. To this end, they also attack websites and blogs such as this one in an attempt to discredit the owner or contributors in some manner. I’ve recently read postings by some QS contributors who take extreme umbrage to comments made here, whether made by the Shark or a commenter. It seems as if these individuals submit their work – here or elsewhere – asking for critique and then when that critique is anything but “best thing I’ve ever read” they immediately tear into the person doing the critiquing. It’s much the same thing as writing to a potential agent assuming that agent will love your work and then becoming hostile when the agent rejects the query. It’s not my fault. I’m a fantastic writer and my work is pure genius. Therefore, it must be: (a) a scam, (b) the ignorance of the agent or critique or (c) something is very wrong in the world of publishing.

I find all of this very peculiar. I believe in my work and my ability to tell a good story. Nonetheless, I am not so caught up in myself I refuse to accept honest criticism, whether of my work or the query process. How can someone – most particularly an unpublished writer – not take every opportunity to learn the business s/he is trying to break into? The problem here is not the Shark, it’s the writer – who just shot himself in the foot!

BTW: I wonder if he gave any consideration to the very public nature of his attack and how it may come back to bite him at some later date.

Jeff King said...

Forget that fool… we need you, and we need this blog. It has helped me more than anything else. Your advice, examples and best of all—the manner you deliver that information. It’s simple to understand (once you actually see it shown to you) so I can put that knowledge to use…

It allows use to grow our foundation, so we don’t mess up our chance to get our foot in the door—and that’s what this is all about…at least for me.

BP said...

Huh. Sounds like something a spam bot would say. So generic and hormonal. He just forgot to mention the part about being from India and the Free Viagra. Because *obviously* he couldn't be talking about your site from personal experience. I mean, gosh, if anybody is taking anybody's time here, it's us taking your time, not you taking ours. This is actually pretty funny.

The Desert Rocks said...

Query Shark sounds like it is out for
something more expensive than he is willing to give...or subscribe to...it sounds like you're out for blood. LOL. Perhaps you are....

Kelley said...

Today's lesson: It's always a bad idea to mix mushrooms, conspiracy theories and Internet access.

alaskaravenclaw said...

A thought.

Maybe he didn't actually visit the site, and thought it was one of those query mills, where hopeful writers pay a fee to have someone spam agents for them.

Theresa Milstein said...

That is perplexing. Sounds like the person needs to learn about querying AND how to read instructions on how to submit a query to Query Shark on your blog.

Tamarapaulin, you just made me laugh!

Nicole said...

Wow. Then I've been scammed for......I don't know know. When did I subscribe to this blog?

Actually, I do pay you - IN COMMENTS. Better than paper money, really. I think it's a win-win situation for everyone.

*snicker* And my word verification is "devises." Granted, it's off by one letter, but it still made me giggle.

Donna Weaver said...

Thank you.

Charlie said...

I thought I had somehow beaten the system and gotten the Query Shark service for free! You mean everyone gets this for free too? :)

Dana Strange said...

Oh dear. Poor confused soul. He will no doubt be horrified when he realizes his mistake. But, if you should ever decide to charge for your critique service, I will throw elbows to be first in line!

writer-dreamer said...

Sorry to see you got someone who was irrational, Janet. I hope you remember that we love your work and you are WORTH paying for the amazing help you hand out for free. Thank you for your dedication. I know I've gained heaps of knowledge from this blog!

~Ashlee
http://theDragonsHoard.bigcartel.com
facebook.com/TheDragonsHoard

siebendach said...

Michelle Julian nailed it. She's got to be right about this.

The person made one of two mistakes:

a) Confused "Query Shark" with "queryshark.com"; or

b) Read this blog and somehow got the message that Janet Reid charges a fee for critiquing queries.

Which mistake do you think is easier to make? From where I sit, mistake "a" --- i.e., mixing up sites with titles and urls that happen to be very similar --- is an error that I make once in a while (and that friends of mine often make, as well).

I don't think I could make mistake "b" without the assistance of a beverage from Russia, Scotland, or Tennessee.

This person's probably worth e-mailing back to explain the difference between "Query Shark" and "queryshark.com". I've never tried the service at "queryshark.com", and I never will, but the site does seem to scream "scam" to me. If someone seemed to have a scam site up that deliberately tried to attract buyers with a brand deliberately chosen because it was close to my name, I'd try to emphasize the difference to the public at every turn.

JS said...

It's odd, though, because how could he have sent an email that got to the Shark at her blogspot from the non-Shark-approved "queryshark.com" without noticing they're two different things?

The thing about assuming that "subscribe" means "send money" for a blog is that there are a disproportionately large number of blogs actually doing that in the sectors of the Internet that cater to the low-information population--conspiracy political theorists, off-the-wall alternative medical folks, extremist religionists. If that is where this gentleman is spending most of his Internet time, it might explain his confusion.

Reese said...

It would truly be laughable if it weren't so sad. And, someday, this person is going to remember this and be embarrassed at his misstep. But I suppose that's all part of the learning (and growing up) process.

Jonathan Dalar said...

Well, we probably don't need another author around who can't read, can't follow directions and gets easily offended anyway.

Alex said...

Wow, I think what this really shows is that this person needs to get more involved with social media etc. - including doing some research on the agents they are querying.

Good for them to know that they should never pay for a query critique, however it might help if they had actually read the site...

Taeryn said...

I just keep you on my bookmark tab and check back now and again. Pardon but that guy was a... moron. No other word for it. He needs to learn how to read, and a little fact-before-the-tirade wouldn't hurt either. Brains over emotion, dude... call yourself a writer???

Wolf said...

I understand where the author is coming from. I think it's horrendous that Query Shark would charge for this service. I also think it's ridiculous that in the United States we do not elect people to hold political offices (based on the motto "In God We Trust" on our money) and that my car has effectively been impounded ever since I came across a sign reading "STOP" and no-one has told me it's okay to go again.

...Heh. Seriously, though, Michelle Julian probably nailed it, the guy went to www.queryshark.com and drew the right conclusion about the wrong website.

Mike Wilkerson said...

I commiserate with you, QS. I truly do. But the guy did use pussyfoot and ashamed in the first sentence. I mean, that in and of itself is some pretty funny shit.

Thanks for the post.

M. Caliban said...

siebendach"
"This person's probably worth e-mailing back to explain the difference between "Query Shark" and "queryshark.com". I've never tried the service at "queryshark.com", and I never will, but the site does seem to scream "scam" to me."

Wolf:
"Michelle Julian probably nailed it, the guy went to www.queryshark.com and drew the right conclusion about the wrong website."

It's not a scam. It's a software tool.

1) queryshark.com doesn't offer a service, it offers a computer program.
2) This program has nothing to do with the queries authors send to agents, but database queries used by network administrators.

This is something very apparent if you bothered to spend ten seconds reading the front page.

Austin James said...

People who complain about advice are losers. Nobodies holding a gun up to their head. You see how someone else would do it... and you either follow that advice or don't... end of story.

Liss Thomas said...

I aspire to be shredded to bits by the QueryShark. One day I'll get the nerve to jump in the deep waters.

alaskaravenclaw said...

Wolf, in a town near where I live, there is a sign at an intersection that says

STOP
THEN GO

Useful for anyone like me who has actually, on occasion, waited for a stop sign to turn green.

Marina J. Lostetter said...

It's unfortunate he's so misinformed. And so rude.

At least there are plenty of us out here in digital-land that know you do this on your own time out of the goodness of your sharky heart.

Thanks so much!

Brian said...

It's not only his ignorance of this wonderful site, but obviously he has never read anything about querying in general (or being a human being) where responding negatively to any response can only come back to bite you...
But this is why writing is so much fun... you can invent the most whacked out character and be sure there is someone out there to legitimize it...

John Jack said...

I don't see perplexing. I see angry, naïve, flawed assumptions as a basis for making a point.

Grief follows a pattern. First there's a conflict circumstance. Next a knee-jerk refusal or a denial. Then anger. Then bargaining. Then depression. Then acceptance. Maybe. And cycling through, back and forth and round and around again, until an accommodation or meaningful understanding is reached.

In this situation, I see anger clouding judgment. The emotions of grief overriding common sense. Which isn't so perplexing. Persuasion relies on emotional appeals, although in this situation it's more of a coercion than a persuasion. Emotional coercion on both parts. Rejection is a small, grievous death, a denial itself. An angry denial is a natural consequence.

Persuasion begins with rapport. Small, sincere encouragements build rapport. Rejection predicated on denial doesn't build rapport. I know the facade of an impenetrable personal bastion. I have one. It repels all boarders. But then I suppose it too is natural, considering the overwhelming flood of strangers seeking sanctuary for their progeny.

Angie said...

My first reaction was to laugh. After reading all the previous comments several things come to mind.

First, QueryShark is the best blog I've encountered anywhere for the wanna-be published. I'm one of those and am happy to rewrite my memoirs that were dead-ending until I found QS. Even after 20 years of writing without yet querying.

I believe that KathrineROID has a good point to change the word"subscribe." Perhaps "a bite in your mailbox". But why bother when your blog is a smashing success because we are dying to be chewed up by you.

I don't doubt that some unhappy soul is trying to discredit QS because of jealousy.

I wanna-be chewed up too! Thanks for your generous blog!

info said...

I read this blog all the time, but haven't left a comment before. Have to say: People are idiots. Thank you for taking the time to do these query critiques.

Janet Johnson said...

Well, obviously they didn't even look at your site . . . . or know much about you. You're one of the best resources ever! Thank you for what you do. :)

Taeryn said...

The dude needs to back to grade school and LEARN HOW TO READ.

Seriously... what kind of an author can he be?

jesse said...

crap. who the hell did i send my 49.95 to?

Marsha Sigman said...

I didn't know I was supposed to pay! Damn it, I have got to start reading these things.

I think he got mixed up and went to queryshark.com too. It's query software for network administrators. The queries they are talking about are wayyyy dif from our queries.

Maybe he has never heard of a homonym?

jesse said...

So, you're saying, that you're NOT a deposed Nigerian princess?

Nancy Kimball said...

A professor in English Lit. passed out a pop quiz. As she handed out the papers, she said we should read through all the questions before starting.

The last question was really a statement. 100 points for turning a paper with only your name on it. A zero for everything else, including eraser marks.

It was really extra credit, not a pop quiz, and the 100 replaced our lowest test grade of the semester. You've never seen a room full of pissed off college kids and a few smiling faces like mine lol.

I have yet to submit my query letter to QS, because I'm still reading through all the earlier posts making notes. Like the directions say!!!

Thank you for this great blog.

John M said...

Wow Uhm. His comment is so stupid I actually feel the intelligence being sucked from my brain.

Don't worry about him. In a world of how many billion people there is bound to be a few loose screws.

Love you site and have learned many things from it.

Jo-Ann said...

Janet! I'm truly amazed that you didn't offer this guy a job on the spot. I mean, every company needs somebody with that sort of razor-sharp ability to spot a scam.

Ok, ok, sarcasm aside, I will make a complaint about this blog (seeing as how they are so few and far between). It's no longer as active as it once was! I used to get my weekly fix of shark-mauled queries, sometimes two, that never failed to make me smile, and sometimes gasp. I have learnt so much reading through the queries and your comments. The current trickle of queries posted just aint the same.

I hope you dont give it up altogether.

Wild Orchids for Trotsky said...

One more chimer-in to say how useful Query Shark is! It takes a pretty big misconception to think it's a scam. I would also like to say that I think in Anne Allen's wonderful phrase "weirdo outfit with many minions" is contained the premise for a whole novel...

siebendach said...

M. Caliban:

Of course queryshark.com advertises a computer program! And when you actually do look closely, which you obviously didn’t do, you see the page is plastered with a bunch of accolades for it, that don’t add up under scrutiny.

At http://www.topshareware.com/QueryShark-download-58893.htm, we have a site that mechanically gives a 5-star rating, but a “popularity” rating that’s unaccountably near the bottom.

At http://www.soft32download.com/software/SimpleHelp-download-details.html, we have a link where “QueryShark 3.0” is given a “10” rating. Follow the link though, we end up at http://www.soft32download.com/software/QueryShark-download-details.html, which gives 2.5 stars (out of 5) for the same software.

It’s easy to set up sites, put up either by regular business partners or even a subsidiary of the manufacturer, to fawn all over a product. But why don’t the customers and end-users agree with all the top-notch ratings? Curious, isn’t it?

Anna said...

LOL

… M. said...

Jo-Ann said...
The current trickle of queries posted just aint the same.

I hope you dont give it up altogether.

A few days ago, I sent in my own query letter. Within a few hours, I received an acknowledgment. ("It's NOT an auto-responder. It's a Me-responder." -- Janet Reid)

From the simple fact that my query DID receive a swift response, it seems safe to assume Janet is still very much interested in chum, and will share the good, the exceptionally bad, and the purely interesting as her time allows.

Paula Millhouse said...

Shark,
All I can say is this:
You were there (for free, thank you very much) and you didn't hesitate to hold my head underwater as long as it took for me to "get it".
Sure, you rejected me twice, but - and here's the big BUT...
Because of what I learned by reading "Your Sharkiness", I was able to revise my Query letter (five-no, surely it was more than that?), re-submit it, and gain an official Author's Agreement with a bonafide Literary Agent who wrote those seven magic words: "I want to sell your story, Paula".
Obviously, 'complaint man' didn't do his reading as he should have before tying himself into a snit.
Shark, you're "Da' Bomb"!
I'll send you a copy of my novel once it's published,
Paula Millhouse

DEMETRA BRODSKY said...

WOW! That is the dumbest complaint I've ever read. Please blow it off QS. You fans adore The Query Shark and the services you provide. One rotten (insert word of choice here) doesn't always spoil the bunch. ; )

Elemarth said...

It does appear that he actually came to this page, since he knows what it's about. He says that people here are "trying to get their Query into a form that you find acceptable." I see that as a complaint you could make by reading a query or two here. Sometimes the Shark is pretty critical. Sometimes it does feel like there is a certain form we all have to conform to. But if he paid any attention, he'd see the winning queries that broke all the rules and he'll notice that the queries you tear apart, usually, are pretty awful.

I think he was just angry, and maybe stupid as well.

Bob said...

You are one kool kat, Query Shark. Being shallow and vindictive I'd have toasted this guy's cajones.

Steve Stubbs said...

It never ceases to amaze me that some people do not appreciate you. Just about everybody does. That is not very amazing, but it might be reassuring. Most people value your work. There are not that many idiots out there. You don't want idiots for clients or fans anyway.

Keep up the good work.

Mostly Nerdy Crochet said...

I would simply like to applaud the way you handled the complaint. Polite, but with a definite finality to the concern. Also, it really does help when people try and find a thing or two out before jumping to conclusions. You know what they say about people who assume things!

O hAnnrachainn said...

Go to Janet Reid's page on Publishers Marketplace, follow the link for query questions and answers, and you'll be at QueryShark.com. No snark to be found there.