There are many ways you can sabotage your query letter – of which I have blabbered about for the past fourteen years (gah! Has it been that long?). But I encountered a new one today; pushing the bio of the person who wrote your Foreword.
What concerns me is that authors are putting their focus in all the wrong places. Don’t get me wrong, forewords are lovely things if you can get one from someone noteable in your subject matter. And yes, it’s equally lovely to put that noteable name on the front cover, and any publisher worth their salt capitalize on it.
But to push this while trying to sell your manuscript to an editor is premature, because it gives the appearance that the foreword is the reason I should be interested. It isn’t. The first order of business is selling yourself and your work.
More worrisome is the foreword author who is only known on a small regional basis. This isn’t going to wow me, so you’ve wasted precious query-letter space pimping someone few know.
This is not a selling point.
Your story needs to stand on its own. It shouldn’t need props and puffery. Keep it simple, keep it real.