This goes in the Insane Stuff That Sometimes Fills My Day file:
I received a puzzling query letter yesterday that left me scratching my head. I’m not sure if the author was A) Serious, B) Mocking, or C) Attempting to be clever
I’ll let you be the judge:
Dear Ms. Benevolent and Kindly Editor:
Are you finished boasting about yourself? Now, it is my turn.
(1) About 75,000 words.
(2) I don’t make pitches. Just throw the flickendoodle letter away if you are too great to peek at what I wrote. I’ll survive.
(3) I wrote the book to become famous, to get accolades and to make money.
(4) The audience I am after is the world.
(5) The book’s unique quality is that it is about me. I am large and cannot be contained.
(6) You want “a smattering about” me? This is bul- sh-t. [Fill in the blanks, if you can.] But, hell, if it is only a smattering that you want, I’ll oblige. I’m an old fashioned tough guy who rose up from the streets of [redacted] to become a pretty well known [redacted]. The fact that I spent my life as an [redacted] does NOT mean I can’t write. Nowadays, (since I retired), I write and edit two blogs that are viewed by a few thousand people. Take a peek, if you must: [redacted].
(7) I expect to be dead before I have time for another book. So much for my future plans.
See what I mean? It’s obvious the author read our submission guidelines and even went so far as to read our sample query letter (as evidenced from the salutation), so why, after all that, would the author choose this particular style of communication? Makes me wonder if Sigmund shouldn’t be taking notes on this author, with his counterculture, anti-query query…
Sig (adjusting glasses and posing pen over notepad): “Ja, ja, vere you dropped on your head as a child? Or vere you raised by volves?”
I would have passed this off as someone who’s a sandwich shy of a picnic, but he included his websites…all quite legit It’s a bit unsettling that anyone would expose themselves in such a manner and expect to be regarded with any modicum of respect…but we do see them. Every editor and agent does. This is just one of the more oddball of the bunch. Sadly, this gent’s name will be forever etched in my cerebral hard drive as one to be given a wide berth.
But what I really don’t get is; why bother? Surely he can’t have expected to be taken seriously after insulting me. The logic eludes me. He had to actually sit down, research, write the un-query letter and hit the Send button. At some point, there must have been some thoughts that rambled around his brain, like, “Gee, you really want to be published, so is this the most appropriate way to appeal to an editor?” or was his intent to simply irritate and insult? Either way, I’m an editor, and I have kids, so he has stiff competition.
The idea that anyone would waste an opportunity is tantamount to shooting one’s own foot with an Uzi. For the record, I simply hit the Delete button, so Mr. GrouchyPants accomplished little, other than to put a name and face to brain-addled.