Ask to see their pitch letters.
How many mistakes can you spot here?
Dear (Editor first name),
This past Monday, (date redacted) I sent out a round of email queries in regard to a client’s novel. Just a couple hours later Editor X at Imprint of Publisher One responded: “Thanks for your submission. We have this undergoing review.” That novel is entitled TITLE ONE (link to author's website) , by AUTHOR. It is quite an interesting work, and if you’re curious you can read more about it by following the link.
Encouraged by that I’ve decided to strike while the iron is hot and send out a query for another of AUTHOR'S novels to some editors at other PUBLISHER ONE's imprints. This novel is entitled TITLE TWO (link to author's website) and was mentioned in my query to EDITOR ONE insomuch as readers of AUTHOR'S other novels will be led to TITLE ONE (link to author's website) and vice versa. TITLE TWO (link to author's website) is a semi-autobiographical novel set in the (industry redacted) world of (location redacted), and was inspired in part by the author's experiences writing novels while working in (location redacted) and around the country as a (job in industry redacted.) It is a most unique blend of fiction and autobiography, humor and romance, and among other audiences, will appeal to those who enjoyed (comp title one) and (comp title two). To read a synopsis and sample chapters of TITLE TWO (link to author's website) follow the link. To get a quick taste of AUTHOR'S style, I highly recommend taking five minutes to read this amusing chapter (link to author's website) from TITLE TWO on the author’s blog, which, while woven into the fabric of the novel, is also a stand alone piece of fiction.
You can read more about AUTHOR and his novels at his website: (link to author's website)
Just before IMPRINT TWO was absorbed by the PUBLISHER TWO I submitted another of AUTHOR'S novels, TITLE THREE (link to author's website) to a senior editor there. These were the exact words of his response to me: "Though I responded to this novel on a personal level...I'm sorry I must pass, but am genuinely glad I got to read TITLE THREE" (link to author's website) "I wish you and the author much luck with it."
Thanks very much, and if you’re not the right editor for AUTHOR but call to mind someone more appropriate, your steering me and/or this email their way will be greatly appreciated, as is your time.