This letter was sent to an editor in NYC who works at a publisher that does not accept unagented projects. (Read this, and you'll understand why!)
Can you spot all ten errors?
Hi (editor's name redacted)
I would like to speak with you and your team about an instant book project entitled (redacted)
We anticipate this book will be a blockbuster for this Christmas, as it profoundly captures the (redacted) and [is] a prophetic revelation concerning the outcome of the 2012 presidential election, who will win and why the Lord has chosen him.
You can learn more about us at (redacted)
Please give me a call at the number below so we can discuss this further. The book is complete and ready for market. I will send you all a PDF of the entire manuscript upon request.
1. Don't EVER plan to speak with an editor to pitch a project. You've got to entice them fully at the written query stage.
2. Most editors, even if they work in a large publishing company, do not have teams. This is not a Japanese car assembly plant or the NY Yankees.
3. Instant book project. These are "crashed" books, and they're normally for breaking news or current events with red hot interest. They are not initiated by query letters from unknown writers.
4. Blockbuster is a term from the movies.
5. Christmas release is not a term you'll find in publishing. Christmas books are released in October and November. In other words, you're too late.
6. The outcome of the 2012 Presidential election will be old news the day after the election. Which is just about when this book would be published.
7. Don't expect an agent or editor to go to your website for information that should be in a query.
8. Don't expect an agent or editor to call you. Most initial contact is by email.
9. "Ready for market" implies that all the publisher has to do is slap a cover on it and ship it to bookstores. This demonstrates a complete and utter lack of understanding about the value a publisher adds to a book, and the publishing process. More than that, it tells me the writer will be someone who does not appreciate those things and thus will be VERY difficult to deal with.
10. Editors and agents generally prefer text documents for manuscripts. They're easier to reformat and transmit.
and the obvious one of course is that this query went to an editor who doesn't take unagented submissions and whose area of expertise isn't even close to what this book is about.