Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Three phrases to never use, ever, in a query letter.

1. "As yours is a reputable agency, I submit my..."

Well, ok. Glad we cleared that up. I'm praying you aren't submitting to any disreputable agencies of course, so telling me I'm in good standing somewhere (bribes were involved I'm sure) is pretty pointless. It also makes you sound like a stuffed shirt. Ditch that phrase.


2. "please review my work"

Well, no. Michiko reviews. Sarah Weinman reviews. ReviewerX reviews. I don't. I consider your work for representation. I know this seems like a petty distinction. Get over it. Words are your tools. Using them like they all mean the same thing, sorta, doesn't generate confidence.


3. "I know you're very busy"

well, sure, I guess. You aren't? Don't ever apologize for sending a query letter. Not to me. Not to any agent. Not now. Not ever. You want busy? Go hang out with a pre-school teacher.

10 comments:

Peg McGuire said...

Gotta love humor at 1:40 in the blessed morning.

Sarah Jensen said...

I agree. And am even happier that those phrases aren't in my query. :)

Marjorie said...

Three phrases to never use in a query letter:
1. I hope you accept simultaneous submissions.
2. Honestly, I think the whole process of sending these query letters and waiting for validation is demeaning.
3. You are a total stranger and you cannot diminish my self-esteem.
And another total no-no: I am choosing to self-publish if you reject this query.

Christina Farley said...

Interesting three that really bother you. I had expected something more drastic I suppose.

CJ Raymer said...

You will NEVER hear #3 from me. (I'm a preschool teacher and academy director.) ;-)

BJ said...

You've got to balance the drastic with the oh-too-tragically common.

Julie Weathers said...

Checks over key phrases in query and sighs with relief.

"Stick with me, baby, I'll make you rich," is safe.

As is:

I'm sending you a pony.

My family loved my book and they have very good taste.

Enclosed is my romantic, thriller, suspense, mystery, epic fantasy with comedic and historical undertones fictional novel.

Julie Weathers said...

Oh, I forgot.

I'm submitting to you because you look just like Rachel Vater.

Just_Me said...

Julie... you forgot "Historical sci-fi"....

Marjorie said...

My comment above was the funniest. I am surprised nobody laughed. If I wrote crime fiction, I would send a query. But, I write comedy. Hopefully, I sometimes have an audience that appreciates my wit and humor. Sometimes.