This is not a query

This is an infomercial:

I wrote a story whose storyline I and several others feel is stupifying, intriguing, educational, and entertaining by a vast demographic. I have gone through quite a few things that many others have gone through. Including: being a child of divorce, ditching school, incest, being a member of a motorcycle gang, teen pregnancy, being homeless, breaking hearts, having my heart broken, etc. If you are at all interested in helping me to motivate and inspire others, please contact me via e-mail at …

Words escape me. Well, almost.

I bring this up not to ridicule, but to help writers avoid the frustration of constant rejections without knowing what they’re doing wrong. Always remember; your query letter is like a job application. The more information an agent or editor has, the better able they are in determining whether request an interview.

Instead, I’ll send out a form rejection letter, and the author will be none the wiser. This is an example of what I’d rather have seen.

And it’s not just me. Check out this post on Nicola Morgan’s blog.

5 Responses to This is not a query

  1. NinjaFingers says:

    It looks like she just sent a ‘raw’ pitch without actually editing it.

  2. Sally Zigmond says:

    It looks more to me as if she hadn’t a clue about writing or publishing.

  3. kimkircher says:

    Jeez. Really? Sounds like this info-mercial writer is too self-absorbed to do any research into the publishing game. Maybe she/he’s too busy to actually READ any books in the genre too. Thanks Lynn for letting us know what NOT to do. Also, I do imagine this will be a form rejection.

  4. Lauren says:

    Sad to say, my friend who was a boutique publisher herself–she is retired now–and whose house focused on memoirs and women–received tons of query letters along this line. She once saved two years’ worth for me to go through and see if there was anything worthwhile, and what struck me is that this unfocused, unprofessional query was typical of those seeking to “tell their story.” In other words, they were so wrapped up in their own story and its pain that they couldn’t see beyond that. They weren’t just uneducated about the query process, they weren’t able and/or willing to educate themselves. It was all their story. And that’s all it was. From their point of view, nothing else mattered.

    I found it sad, which is how this one strikes me too. It’s very similar. I am not sure they would want to or be able to write a proper query even if they were taught. It’s less important than their story, which is intimate, deep, and probably still very painful.

  5. Alex says:

    How on earth did you reply to that?

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