Top 10 Things *Not* to Include In Your Query Letter.

10.  That you dream of being as talented as Nicholas Sparks.  (Yes, this is personal bias.  I hate him.)

9.   That you’ve wallpapered the guest bedroom with rejection letters.  (It’s possible I’ve done this – but I’m not going to tell them.)

8.   That your mom thinks you’re an amazing writer.

7.   That you feel certain all 10 ladies in your Bunko group will run out and buy your book.

6.   That between your 35 Twitter followers and 275 Facebook friends, you’ve got a solid marketing platform.

5.   That your college roommate’s cousin (who you met 10 years ago) babysat Stephanie Meyer’s kid – so you’ve totally got connections.  (FYI – Stephanie Meyer is that Mormon chick that had a dream about a vampire in a meadow and now is a gazillionaire.  Seriously.)

4.   That your characters are really “right now” and that “there’s nothing else out there like it.”  (Okay – this has nothing to do with writing, but there is a show called “Men at Work” (on…TBS maybe?) that ran promos where the actors talked about what was so *great* about the show and the a-hole in glasses says, “all the characters are so right now and I don’t think there’s anything else like that on TV.”  Right now??  Are you effing kidding me?  That promo gives me rage.  I can barely handle the promos for the stupid show – let alone sitting through an episode.  But I digress.  Don’t say that about your book.  Period.)

3.   That this is a “limited time offer.”  A limited time offer till what?  You decide to go the highly-successful, incredibly lucrative self-publishing route?  Please.  When Mary-Jo from Po-Dunk Literary Agency in Beaver, Iowa, asks to read your manuscript, you’ll send it off to her and pop the champagne you bought on sale at Wal-Mart for just this occasion. (Disclaimer: no offense to the approximately 48 residents of Beaver, Iowa.  I’m sure it’s a lovely town.  I’m an attorney.  I should be writing a book called “CYA.”)

2.   This is a guaranteed best-seller!  A) Never guarantee shit; B) Best-sellers are like The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver or The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks…meaning either you’d never be able to write something that good or you’d never want to create something so God-awful…respectively; C) I made no secret of my feelings toward Nicholas Sparks…and seriously?  The Poisonwood Bible?  She has one character smarter than I’ll ever be and I’m fairly certain I can’t write a character smarter than me.  Unless I’ve had at least three glasses of wine.

1.   That you look forward to hearing from them.  Cause you won’t.  Unless it’s one of the agencies that answer everyone, in which case, you will get that delightful “thanks, but no thanks” letter, which, I will say, makes excellent wallpaper.

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  2 comments for “Top 10 Things *Not* to Include In Your Query Letter.

  1. June 13, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    LOL….this comment is “so right now,” I like this post! Have you read “The Poisenwood Notebook?” Snark snark. 🙂

    • June 13, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Lol. Even a dash of Kingsolver couldn’t rescue Sparks’s crap. But, you’re right, your comment is so “right now” and there just isn’t anything else out there like it! 😉

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