I can't help myself. When queries come in, even over the holidays, I sneak a peek. I'm always hoping something so good will pop up that I Must.Read.Now. Sadly what I find more often are new perplexing ways you've found to do yourself some damage.
Just this morning there were these two:
1. "Please respond" in the subject line, and the ONLY thing in the subject line. Maybe you don't get as much spam as I do, but surely you've noticed that phrase is one spammers use a lot. Even if your query isn't spam, if you make it LOOK like spam, it's a bad sign. There are two ways to figure out what goes in the subject line of a query:
a. What the guidelines of a specific agency tell you to put
OR (not AND)
b. Query for (title of your work here) /(fiction/non-fiction/memoir)
Put the title of your work in first, then whether it's fiction, non-fiction or memoir.
And honest to garamond "Please respond" is just an invitation not to.
2. "Please reply to my home email address (email listed)" and it's NOT the address from which the query was sent.
When I reply to your query, I hit the "reply to" tab on my mail management program and it replies to the email address you used to send the email. Under no circumstances am I going to type in a new address. Not ever.
Query from the address you want to receive the replies. It never occurred to me that this had to be stated, but I guess it does.
And if anyone has any insight into why someone would do this, I'd be interested to hear it.
Now, off to breakfast: