My post earlier today, in which I extolled the virtue of actually telling me what your book was about in the query letter has generated some interesting, if befuddled, comments.
For starters, let us all remember that pages (ie the requested 3-5 pages) are NEVER sent in an attachment. NEVER. If there is an exception to NEVER, the guidelines will say so very very specifically. The default form is to include the pages in the email. When in doubt, include in the body of the email.
Thus, when I rant about "Did you send a couple quick sentences about yourself and then say, here are the first couple pages attached below? Yes? Form rejection"
and you think I mean the pages should be in an attachment, you're focused on the WRONG THING.
This post is about describing your book; the problem is that you've only said a couple quick sentences.
What I'm asking for is what I've ALWAYS asked for: more than a cursory "here's my 50,000 word novel about agents who eat queries for breakfast, pages below"
The guidelines are not designed to trip you up, fool you, challenge you or make you feel stupid. The guidelines are supposed to help you. Don't over analyze, and don't obsess.
And if you got a form rejection, and you re-read your query and you can't figure out if you didn't describe your book in two paragraphs, well, maybe you should invest some time over at QueryShark.
And, no, I'm NOT caught up on my queries at all. I will tell you when that happens. In fact, I may take out an ad in the damn New York Times and pay for the Empire State Building to be wreathed in pink (for the octopus of course) it will be such a happy day.