Tuesday, August 7, 2007

How to get your query letter discarded from the queue

Dear Ms. Reid,

Love, love, love.....did I say love.....the Query Shark site! I sent you my query letter and although I know you have many, many to review....so I don’t mean to bug you but I would really respect your feedback to my query letter....you are always spot on with your comments. The query letter was for (redacted) Even if you don’t post it on your site, even just having a little bit of your feedback would mean so much.

As the punch line in the movie Misery said............from your number 1 fan!


This is one fast way to NEVER get your query posted on the blog.

I get that you want feedback. I run this site to provide it. Under NO circumstances will I provide private coaching. Sending emails asking for that, even in the most laudatory terms and couched in compliments annoy the fins off me.

And honest to god, quoting Annie Wilkes can be interpreted in several different ways, none of them to your benefit, and at least one requiring a call to the gendarmes.

What you haven't stopped to realize is that IF your query gets posted, you get to revise. Which means an ongoing email communication with me.  Stepping over the line this early doesn't reassure me that you'll be someone I want to talk to on an ongoing basis. In other words, you've just given me a very potent reason to NEVER post your query.

If you didn't realize you've crossed the line, no harm no foul. But there is a line.  Stay on your side. The other side is shark-infested.


Addley C. Fannin said...

*twitch of fear* Er...you have to wonder if this person ever even saw or read Misery and knew the rather disturbing implications of that line.

And if they did know it, maybe they were trying to threaten you? Which is an even worse idea in the grand scheme of things.

Sandy said...

Umm...sorry, but that is creepy. Especially using that line at the end. Restraining order, anyone?

Bethany Elizabeth said...

The author here sounds sweet, but there is a line that was definitely crossed. Still, it's easy to tell (s)he has good intentions - we're all willing to be a little crazy for our work, right? We just have to be sure our craziness helps us, rather than hinders - as in this case.

Kate Halleron said...

Eyes growing wide.

Backing away slowly.

Running away swiftly, shouting for help.

Anonymous said...

wow. you don't mess around, do you? great to know. note to self: no ass-kissing here. ever!

Chris said...

I wonder if this chick has read the book or just seen the movie. Because the book is far more sinister and grotesque.

Laura said...

"From your Number One Fan!!!!" *as she brandishes axe*

Shark: "I think this query letter needs to be RINSED!"

Strugglinvet said...

I think the writer was attempting humor to cover her embarrassment about the desperation. Haven't we all said, "Here's Johnny!" at one time in our lives?

Samuel M. said...

Perhaps the poor writer just needs context. To me, this sounded like telling your auditing IRS agent to go easy on you because you're her/his biggest admirer. Actually, scratch that. Given the infrequency of that happening they might actually enjoy it.

John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur said...

I've gotta agree with Strugglinvet, it was an attempt at nervous humor from someone who perhaps didn't realize the boundaries he/she/it was breaking. I say cut him/her/it some slack. The tone of pathetic neediness in the rest of the e-mail is sad enough without jumping up and down on the ill-advised attempt at humor.

Cary said...

No that was not ill-advised attempt at humor. That was her being pushy. She stated she didn't mean to bug the shark but that is what the piont of her email to the shark was all about.

Hope Welsh said...

Kissing ass is out. Got it. Bribery perhaps?

I'm sure I have a spare Franklin...

Seriously, I can't imagine the number of emails you must receive--and on top of running an agency.

To me, it says a lot that you take the time to do this at all.

The snarky part of me thinks this blog might have a two-fold purpose.

One, obviously to help the struggling agent-seeker.

Two, to hopefully improve the queries you receive.

I'd be curious to know if it has had that effect, as it's certainly changed the tone of the practice queries I'm writing.

Svelte said...

I think the OP meant no harm, at worst they made an innocent mistake regarding how to approach this, one I myself could just as easily have made. They were clearly nice and polite. Their compliments are likely genuine given their requesting an opinion they respect on here. I see intention as more important than anything. I don't think anyone should read more into it than really is there. Their struggling like a lot of us. Just my humble opinion.

Mog's said...

Utterly no excuse for "Number one fan."

Poor writer that I am, I still take the time to look over what I have written and recognize something is wrong. A case of 'nerves' would be edited out.

The intention blatantly rubs against the grain of the sharkskin (OMG! He's killing a metaphor here, someone do something!) by asking the QShark to re-purpose the site just for this one individual.

It reeks of 'giggle giggle nudge nudge' at some convention.

Anonymous said...

when has pandering ever worked??Number One Fan = Number One Restraining Order!