You've prepped your sub list.
You've honed your query.
You've got everything ready to go.
You hit send.
You hit the tequila bottle (or the teapot) with relief now that this is done, done, done.
Yes, yes, yes.
You wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat when your reptile brain says "you sent the wrong thing."
You look at your outgoing mail folder and sure enough. You sent something so wrong, it's not even going to make a right turn to get back on the right path. It's not in left field, it's in the dumpster, and it's on fire.
Recently, #QueryFail looked like this:
In case you're wondering why: no attachments when you query unless specifically directed; query one project at a time; include a query letter (you can't tell from this image, but there was no query.)
My assumption when I get something that is clearly this wrong is the writer doesn't know anything about how to query.
BUT it's entirely possible the writer knows a LOT about querying and had some sort of #EpicMalfunction
IF this happens to you: DO NOT DESPAIR. Do not weep and rend your garment. You can recover.
First, know that when I get something like this, I toss it. I don't record the name of the writer, I don't save it to my file of "idiots to never respond to" or "clueless wonders to blog about."
I just throw it away.
Which is VERY good news for you.
You can just query (CORRECTLY) and that first salvo won't even appear on my radar.
The trick is to NOT to tell me about that first mistake.
Just query like you would normally.
This is true of every other kind of terrible mistake you can make. Just query again. Don't say "sorry I called you Mr. Reid" (cause I really didn't notice); or "sorry I misspelled Herbiverousville" cause I don't spell check your query; or, "gosh I'm sorry I did X" cause most likely I didn't notice.
Here's the thing to remember: you slave over every single word in your query (and you should) but I read them like you read your email: to get the info I need and get on to the pages. I don't read it to assess it, correct it, analyze it, or make sure you did 27 things correctly. I just read it.
You can recover from a major splat.
Get up, dust yourself off, step up to the plate and swing for the fences.