#color-me-annoyed: When I see three different fonts in your query letter, I know you’ve cut and pasted – which is no big deal – but boy, is it ever annoying and unprofessional looking. It’s the literary equivalent of your bra strap sloughing down your arm.
#color-me-annoyed: When you write your pitch, you don’t need to litter Wikipedia links throughout. Truly, I know what a Japanese woman is, I know where Belfast is, and I do know what happened at Dunkirk in WW II. Not only do these ridiculous links make your pitch hard to read, but I begin to wonder if you’re trying to sell a story or give a history lesson. Avoid this. Really.
#color-me-annoyed: “My book compares to Eat, Pray, Love…” Shoot me now and blind me with eye bleach. In the past week, I’ve had no fewer than fifteen manuscripts use this as a title comp.
Note to authors: Avoid comparing your books to JKR’s Harry Potter series, Dan Brown and his DaVinci Code, or Elizabeth Gilbert’s E,P,L. They did it. In fact, they own it. You do not compare. Really.
#color-me-annoyed: You put this in your query – “I would like it printed in standard memoir size (6” x 9”).” Guess what? The trim size isn’t your call – nor is 6 x 9 “standard” memoir size.
#color-me-scared: “I plan on querying you the minute I finish writing my book.” Noooo…please, Oh Holy and Wise Cosmic Muffin, let this not be the case. Please intervene and let the book marinate for a spell, and then let the author go back and revise. The only fresh thing I want is a margarita…