Sunday, July 01, 2012

Medicinal purposes only, I assure you

Dear Janet:

I know it has been a while since we last talked but life has been hectic with me as I am sure it has been with you. (personal details about why life was hectic)

Additionally, my first novel (title) just hit the book stores. It has been a labor of love. I started writing it when (details of her writing path.)

This book is a gritty fantasy story (more details about the book.)

Below is a critique I received from a fellow author:
(someone I've never heard of)

My intent of this email Janet is I hope you’ll give (title) a read. I also would greatly appreciate any input you may have on the story. I am currently writing the sequel.

You can order a copy at any of the following (or ask your local library to order it):

Direct from the publisher: (helpful link included cause it's a publisher I've never heard of)

From Amazon: (link)

or from Barnes & Noble: (link)

Again, I hope all is going well. If you have any questions or comments, please drop me a line. Good luck and God Speed.

It's the reference to "last time we talked" that tipped me off.  I checked my email and yea, it was a query and a form rejection. 

Thus I'm sure this was a cut and paste, sent to everyone in the address book kind of email.

In other words: useless and ineffective.

Well, not totally useless: it did make that whisky at 9am medically necessary.

If you want to let people know your book is available, you write what is essentially a query letter: you entice them to read it. Telling people how hard it was to write, or how chaotic your life has been is NOT enticing.  Your family and friends already know that stuff. The rest of us don't care.  No really. I do not care.

I have a feeling that as publishing gets "easier" and more and more people start promoting their books, one of the repercussions is going to be that my public email address is going to be Query@Agency and anything that isn't a query just gets deleted.

I really don't want to do that cause most of you who send me not-query email are pretty funny and very valuable.

But honestly, if I start drinking at 9am too often, things are gonna change!


Carolynnwith2Ns said...

And I thought the shark swilled au jus.

Michael Seese said...

Janet --

You probably don't remember the last time we talked, because you were really trashed. I was, too. But I think it was somewhere in New York, if that helps.

Anyway, said you loved my book idea, and PROMISED you would represent me.

So here is my manuscript ...

Mister Furkles said...

Were I to ask an agent to read my published novel, I would send the novel and suggest they give it to the library when finished with it.

Why would anybody ask you to buy her fantasy novel? You don't represent fantasy and you've only mentioned reading the classics many years ago.

Janet, am I wrong? Have you been sneaking out on the qt to buy fantasy novel without telling us?

Janet Reid said...

I read the DoJ lawsuit. Does that count as fantasy?

Laura Hughes, MittensMorgul said...

How does a query and rejection count as personal communication? I think that might be the actual fantasy going on here...

Bill Plante said...

Regarding your Tweet: I'm cogitating about queries: What if everyone who queries on Friday night between 9pm and midnight gets a personal reply. Thoughts?
Love the idea. Recently received a personal query response from agent, "Your writing is good, etc." Thought I won the Lotto.

Janet Reid said...

Bill, there's a post going up on Tuesday about that idea. I'd love to see your comment there too.

Janet Reid said...

Mittens, oh so right about that!

Stephen Kozeniewski said...

Now I'm intrigued by what the brand of whiskey was.  I know there's an Eight O'Clock brand of coffee, but I don't know if there's a whiskey specifically marketed towards morning drinkers.  Except perhaps my personal favorite, Old Crow, legendary for being found in the hands of all kinds of street people at all times of the morning.

Unknown said...

Note to self: Do not send query to Janet with mom's testimonial attached.

BP said...

WHAT? *waves doctorly things* Whiskey in the AM?! Tsk, tsk well, at least it wasn't Mary Jane, 'cause that's what I was *originally* thinking... You just need a stress ball, or a pet, or one of those pet-shaped stress balls where the eyes pop out at demented angles when you squish it! aha!

Laurel said...

I'm confused. I cannot have read that right.

1. Someone who queried you and was rejected

2. is now published (yay for them)

3. and asked you to buy a book

4. of which you did not want to read three chapters for free?

Janet Reid said...

Oh Laurel,you thought it through logically! We can't have that!

Petrea Burchard said...

This author put all his/her talent into an (admittedly failed but at least mildly innovative) attempt to deceive. Apparently none of that (admittedly misguided and perhaps minor) talent went into the book. This is the best thing I've read all day.

Tells you about my day.

Simon Hay said...

Good luck and God speed! To buy the book, or save the world? I wish I was an avenger too ;)

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

If I send a not-query email and make it funny will you think I'm valuable? won't care, no really, you won't care, because you'll be under the reef with an empty bottle and box of cupcakes.
Gee I wish I were you.

GillyB said...

@Laurel, you just made me laugh out loud with your weird logic-think.

This reminds me of after I got my college acceptances (and rejections, naturally). I committed very early to the school I was going to attend, and sent replies to the schools I turned down.

And yet for months (MONTHS) I kept getting emails from those schools I declined attending, telling me how old the campuses were/how diverse the student body was/how few students had been lucky enough to be accepted/don't you feel stupid now for not coming here???

I also kept getting emails from Very Elite And Snobby University, the dream school that turned me down,telling me all the exciting things the class of 20*mumble* should be prepared for in the fall. That definitely felt crappy.

Anonymous said...

Some time ago when I had work related stress and depression the occupational therapist asked me if I drank alcohol during the day. 'At breakfast perhaps as a bracer?' is how she finished the question. Now the answer I gave was 'no' because I knew that any answers I gave would get back to the boss. As I don't drive at all I didn't think there was anything wrong with having a drop of whiskey in my coffee in the morning. I'm glad to read that sane and sensible people, such as you, are not averse to a morning alcoholic drink. Frankly I think that a 'random' shot of alcohol can save a life. I'm sure I would have strangled someone by 9-30 a.m. on some days if the breakfast bracer hadn't mellowed me enough to laugh off the crass actions and words of others. The concept of an 'out of hours' 'bracer' always puts me in mind of that quote from 'Whiskey Galore' that 'Some men are born two drinks under par.' I think that's me.

The Writer Librarian said...

Libraries may not accept this item based the way it was presented either--librarians mostly look at books in review pubs like Library Journal and Kirkus, and usually have a collection development policy against accepting books that aren't a guarantee to give them their money's worth (I recently got a request that was also mass emailed--where the requester admitted outright that his book didn't have an ISBN number--forwarded to me from another librarian with the subject: "No Need to Respond.").