A lot of people are glad to give you advice on how to query.
I'm one of them.
This blog is full of it.
But you've got to be careful who you listen to.
Not all advice-givers are created equal,
and some are downright wrong.
I posted about this earlier but was reminded of it again this morning when I got a distraught email from a querier asking her query be discarded. Turns out she'd listened to another writer about how to format her query, and it was exactly wrong. I looked at the query. Sure enough: disaster on toast points.
The arrival of the internet has introduced a transparency to publishing that can serve writers well.
It also gives gravitas to the person with the loudest voice and biggest platform.
Listen to the advice of people who do the actual reading and deciding about your query before you listen to anyone else. We may disagree with each other about some of the finer points, but we're not going to actively give you bad advice.
And yes, this querier gets a mulligan. In fact, every query this bad gets a mulligan because we don't keep track of them.
If you find you've done something really really cringe-worthy (like not tell me what the book is about or calling it a fiction-novel) then just re-write and send again. What's the worst that can happen?
Oh well, ok, you'll get the Mer-Bear stare
but she won't actually come to your house and smack you with a stuffed shark.
We save that for clients.