Avoid the Cat Ass Trophy…

March 24, 2017


Clever lines ain’t enough

May 17, 2009

I love someone with a sense of humor. In this business, it should be required in order to gain entry. All sourpusses must toss themselves under a bus or work for the DMV.

I’ll grant that there is a fine line between funny and over-the-top-trying-too-hard, especially with cover letters. I had someone say, “Read this or the beagle gets it.”

Yah, yah, the beagle stayed out past her curfew and pooped in my shoes. You can keep her. The line had no place in the query, IMO, because I felt they were trying to align themselves with me – as if they knew me. They don’t.

However, this one cracked me up: He hopes you will publish his book before his 80-year-old father gets tired of waiting and dies.

So why did I find the second one humorous? Because his proposal was so fabulous. His material was presented in a very serious, knowledgeable fashion that bespoke someone who knows what they’re doing. The dry wit was a surprise – as was his admission to possessing a nice ass. He got away with it because his platform is well thought out and professional. The gentle wit was an effective offering to a serious and professionally presented subject.

The first query was poorly done and lacked detail. They depended solely on humor to get their foot in the door, and this ain’t enough. I admit that editors can be distracted by shiny objects SOMETIMES. But not when it comes to a query.

So just know that humor is great provided you have the meat to back it up, and this means having a professional query or proposal that shows you to be a pro.

And, yah, I believe the author’s father will see his spawn’s book published.


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