Friday

Worst Query Letter Ever Contest

Yesterday I got an exciting email from Chuck, the editor of the 2012 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market that I have an article in.  Apparently, if I run a contest here on the blog, then he'll send the winner a free copy of the book.  Pretty sweet, right?

So, I was trying to think what would make an appropriate contest for a book dedicated to finding your manuscript a home with the right editor or agent. And then I had it.  What could be more perfect than a query letter contest?  However, I just ran a query letter contest last spring.

And then I had an even more brilliant idea.  I would make this the worst query letter ever contest.  To enter this contest, your going to have to come up with most unbelievably awful query letter.  Basically, you should take all the advice I've ever given you in the past and do the exact opposite.  Then whichever fake letter is the worst, I'll critique on the blog so we can all review what should NOT be done.

To enter the contest:
  1. Paste your fake query letter into one of the comments on this post.  That way everyone can enjoy the awfulness.
  2. All entries must be received by 11:59PM CST Friday, Sept. 23
  3. We really want the query itself to be awful; however, the book being pitched shouldn't be ridiculous.  Don't pitch offensive or really extreme books that no one would want even if the query was fantastic.
  4. One winner will receive a copy of the 2012 CWIM direct from Writer's Digest.  Should they choose to substitute prizes (like a copy of the excellent 2012 Guide to Literary Agents instead), I have no control over that.  The winning entry will also be posted so that we all might critique/ridicule its awfulness. 

23 comments:

The Storylady said...

This looks like a lot of fun! Here's mine:


Jayne Dow
Children’s Publishing Company
123 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY

Dear Jane Doe,

I’ve written a book that is going to sell at least a million copies. I’m sure every bookstore in America will want it. I know this because my grandchildren and all their friends love it and ask me to read it to them all the time. They sit still for every word, even though it takes 20 minutes to read it. I’ve enclosed a picture of me reading it to my grandson. He’s the one who illustrated it. He’s only ten, but I’m sure you’ll agree his pictures are perfect.

In my book, Sammy Squirrel hides his nuts but then can’t remember where they are. He asks Charlie Chipmunk where his nuts are, but Charlie doesn’t know. He asks Billy Bird, Patty Possum and Oliver Owl, but no one knows where his nuts are. Finally he finds them. Isn’t that adorable?

I’ve never written anything before, but you’d never know it when you read my book. I’ll call your office next week to see what you have to say.


Sincerely,

Mary Smith

Jeanette said...

I love "wrong" queries. They make me laugh.


Dear Agent,

I would address this personally to each agent, but as you must understand, there are a hundred of you and only one of me. And my time is valuable. So don't be offended. I'm sure you're special to someone.

I know your website says not to send attachments, but I'm kind of too cool to bother listening to directions. So I have attached a photo of my dog.

I have written a book that is the love child of Twilight and Harry Potter. Not, you know, as if a wizard and a vampire had a baby together. That would be strange. But it'll sell double whatever those two franchises sold. Mostly because I'm smarter than both JK Rowling and Stephanie Meyers together.

I cannot give you the actual plot of the book, as I'm afraid you might steal my idea and publish the book yourself. It's too fantastic to let that happen, so you will simply have to believe me when I say that this book will be gangbusters big. I'm sure you understand.

Also, I haven't written it yet. But that's a small detail that can be fixed with a year or two of hard work.

About me: I like long walks on the beach, my favorite color is blue, and I have one creepy ex-husband that likes to stalk me on the internet. I raise ferrets and haven't vacuumed in a month.

It says on your website that your response time is 6-8 weeks. So I will begin sending increasingly vicious and needy emails in 9 days. If you haven't decided to love me and my book in 9 days, then you don't deserve to breathe. Also, rejections make baby Jesus cry.

Don't let this amazing opportunity pass you by.

Sincerely,

Crazy Pants McGoo

Amanda Jeanette said...

[Hi, I've only just stumbled across your blog and thought this entry looked like fun. I understand if my newness has me disqualified, but this looked like too much fun not to write! Nice to meet you! -Amanda.]

Dearest book selling middleman,

I'm writing to inform you I have just now finished my novel. It is 258,432 words and it is one sexy sci-fi masterpiece that'll have you nawing your nails and raving.

The main characters are Jo-Jo, Henry, Sammy, and Luke. Sammy's the girl and she's always been kick-butt particularly now that she's got a laser attached to her arm that likes to go off randomly in the boys faces but don't worry they're usually okay except when it's conveient for the plot to have the dial randomly stuck and then it blasts Luke's arm randomly off on their trip to warn his parents that they need to leave planet WarMarger.

They have enemies and they are the Sluupers and the sluupers are all insane and their names are Tad, Febry, and Todish and Todish is the girl but she doesn't have a laser just a hacksaw that she wields like she belongs in a horror movie not a sci-fi.

Also, all of this happens in space. In 2012 (because the earth will be gone and they'll have moved-off world and settled on places like WarMarger.) And Jo-Jo and Sammy fall in love and like to kiss just before explosions because I think explosions are awesome backdrops for kisses and my readers will appreciate this subtle foreshadowing.

I have three followers on twitter: my dog, Insuraning Insurance Company, and my sister, so I already have a good platform.

Please be letting me know of your interest soon. I have begun writing the sequel which has nothing to do with Jo-Jo, Henry, Sammy, and Luke but does happen on WarMarger. I hope you can get me a movie deal and also a play because I think sci-fi plays would be awesome, wouldn't you? Expensive though.

Saleably yours,
Jo-Jo the self inserting author

[Hmm. It's sad, but I think there are plenty of ways I could've made that even MORE awful.]

Eva Pohler said...

To Whom It May Concern:

Hi. My name is Sammy the Cat! My story, which is about the meaning of friendship and how what goes around comes around, will enthrall you so much, you'll want to make a movy out of it! The author's mom and grandma both think its brilliant.

Please click on this link to read the first chapter: http://publishersmarketplace.com/members/evapohler. Please click on this link to read a synopsis http://bookclubpicks.blogspot.com. You can also purchase an ebook of my story at Amazon.com.

My author, Eva Pohler, is amazing! She has over forty followers on Twitter (@evapohler) and is ranked number 84 out of 85 for most visited blogs. She has self-published this book already, but because it has sod over 30 copies this year alone, she thinks its time to get an agent. She has queried 109 agents so far, and only twinty have replied. But of those twenty replies, one (Janet Reid) requested a partial, and were still waiting for a response (its been two years)

If I don't here back from you in a few days, I will call you at you're office. I have faxed this same query to you, so you'll have a duplicate. You better not turn down this grate oportunity. Youll be sorry if you do.

Kate Higgins said...

Ok, here is my query. (It is so weird not to run a spell check on something I'm posting:)

Dear agent M,

Please accept this query as a sample of me writing and please consider represnting my book. My book is just like Gone with the Wind only there is no wind and it doesn’t take place in the South and the main character is a ten year old boy not a southern bitch. It has 1,020 pages and that is 20 short of “Gone with the Wind” so it would be cheaper to publish. And I would be willing to give you all the movie writes immediately. The title is The Breeze Has Left The Building.

My blockbuster book is written for upper MG kids who have more of YA kind of mind. It might be kind of like a adult novel but it has a younger heroine in it and no swearing or sex. I have read what I’ve written so far to my kids and the cat and they like it lots. It is a story kind of like the Lone ranger meets Lassie.

I have been published in lots of ‘zines and have my own blog. I have self published several books on amazon’s kindle (under the a fake name) and have sold three already so you can see I am sailable.

I will gladly send you my first three chapters for you to read as soon as I get them finished and have a friend who is a good typist put it on a computer format. I like writing on my Selectric typewriter because I am closer to the words that way. I’m sure you understand since you are nearing retirement ( I read about you on the internet) and probably used to type on a typewriter also. Don’t you just love the way the typewriter written page looks?

Thank you in advance for representing me, I’ll be waiting you call. I am available after 5pm Monday thru Thursday (and I take a three day weekend because I get stressed) because I have a day job and can’t wait to quit it after I am publish.
Your newest future client:
Publius Mia Tome

PS This is a multiple submission to all agents A thru M in the 2011 guide to liturgy agents
PSS I also have a nephew who got a A in art who can’t wait to draw the pictures so that will save on publishing cost also.
PSS Do want to see a picture of my cat?

Anonymous said...

MIDNIGHT TOdAY, WAIT 3RD OAK FROM GATe. MAN WITH PIT BULL will PASS - cODE wORD 'rED SKY AT nIGHT', IF ALL cLEAR hE WILL RESPOND 'sHEPHERD'S DELIGHT'. YOUR PACKAGE RED BIN AS YOU LEAVE PARK. dO nOT ATtEMPT TO CONTACT ME.

Cindy Blog-A-Liddle said...

Dear sir or madam,

I am respectfully writing to tell you of billion dollar idea for published book.

My father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant in abidjan, the economic capital of ivory coast, my father was poisoned to death by his business associates in one of their outings on a business trip.

My mother died when i was a baby and since then, my father took me so special.

Before the death of my father, he secretly called me on his bedside and told me that he has the sum of eight million united states dollars left in a fixed/suspense account in one of the prime banks here in abidjan, that he used my name as his only dauther as the next of kin in depositing the fund.

He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was poisoned by his business associates, that i should seek foreign literary Agent in a country of my choice Where i will transfer this money and use it to pay major publisher for best selling book.

I am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways:
1) to provide a bank account into which this money would be transferred to.
2) to serve as a guardian of this fund
3) to make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a resident permit for me in your country

Moreover, i am willing to offer you 15% of the total sum of all book sales as compensation for your effort/input after the successful Transfer of this fund into your nominated account overseas.

Anticipating to hear from you soon,

Miss Nigeri Ann

Ella said...

[Oh, man, am I enjoying these letters. Okay, my turn.]

Dear Sir or Madam,

I realize you are only looking for YA manuscripts right now, but when you see my book, I know you will throw your guidelines out the window. My husband and daughter love my story – and there not even the target audience!

I truly think the book speaks for itself, and I wouldn’t want to spoil your enjoyment, so I’ll just say that first, a girl’s mother adopts a...rather unusual son. When a suspicious neighbor moves in, hijinks ensue. Technically, it’s a paranormal MG comedy, but in reality, it transcends all age and genre considerations. Think a funnier version of Bunnicula, except without vampires, for older readers, and with real people. Or like a supernatural Captain Underpants, without the silly illustrations and bathroom humor. In short, their is no other book like it!!

I have included the first 1,254 words of the book. I am ready to right the rest when the contract is in hand! Don’t worry, though. I have outlined it, and it’s going to be FANSTASTIC!

Since winning a local contest in the 9th grade, I have become a prolific writer, having written the newsletters for the local nonprofit I work for. I have also received honorable mentions in a couple of poetry anthologies. In my spare time, I love watching tv, playing with my cats, and eating vegetarian food (unlike the character in my book!)

I will call you next week to discuss the size of the advance and my ideas for cover art. By the way, I insist on keeping movie and foreign writes. It will be worth your time. Trust me, this book is going to be HUGE!

Sincerely,

Jane Doe
hotchick25@hotmail.com

PS – I thought you should know I’ve copywrited the first chapters, just as a precaution. Not against you, of course, but I know you’ll agree that an author can never bee to careful.

PS2 – I hope you liked the little present I included – it's home baked!

Landra said...

I had to give this a shot, just because.

Dear Sir/Madam/Mister/Missus/Whom

I seek repsenatiaon with your company... My book is the biggest thing since sliced bread... It's soo huge... I mean OMG, WTF, WTH, WWJD huge! This is guranteed to make a ton of money and can be read by anyone... I truly mean anyone...
Not that you need to know but I quit my job 2 days ago to write this, and it's guranteed a money bringer... Just think "Show me the Money" from Jerry Maquire...

Anyhoo, the book... Well I cannot tell you about it write now because Im concerned about people stealing my ideas... It happens every day on tv... But if you are interested and willing to sign a confidentiality agreement my law school friend, well she's a paralegal... She drew it up for me... Then I can send it... I've attached the agreement for persual and since I'm writing on my neighbor's computer... if you send it back this today I will get back to you next week when I'm over hear...
Also important this book has been read by at least 2 of my friends and their children... It's gonna be a shit storm when it reaches shelves... I also have mockup illustrations to send to of the cover and the photos... My art class bud put them together... totally inspired. Holy mercedes...
I know your interest is peaked so I will tell you there is plenty of multicultural, multisexual, multiinguialistic aspects that are phenom... Pure artistic genius... in 50 pages in Microwsoft Wordpad.
So email the agreement signed.
Cordially, estaticallisticly yours in heart and soul,
The anon author.
P.S. I can only reveal my real name and contact info after the agreement is signed... I easily attract stalkers...

Barry Wittenstein said...

Dear Editor:

Did you ever dug around in your backyard just to kill some time and came across a bone that looked kinda weird?

I have, and that’s why I wrote the book, “Is there a T-Rex in Your Backyard?” I’m not sure if it can be a picture book for toddlers, or a college textbook, but the research I have done has blown me out of the proverbial water. As I’m writing this, I’m thinking, OK, two different versions for two different audiences. Does that work for you? Sounds like double the money for me!

After I dug up this eight foot bone (and I was only about ten years old), I thought it was a chicken bone. But my father, who at that time was home a lot because of his “sickness” as momma called it, came rushing out and proclaimed I might have actually found a true-life dinosaur bone. Even at the age of ten I thought this might be a bit strange, and after all, it was my father who I later found out did a
lot of LSD with a few of the members of the Grateful Dead many years ago. Pig Pen, does that ring a bell?

But he kept yelling, “we’re rich, we’re rich” so I concluded that yes, it was more than a chicken bone.

Long story short, we brought the bone to the University of Miami, a short trip from our home in Plantation, FL, and they confirmed it was
unusual, but could not exactly say how old it was. They even said it could be a chicken bone, but the chicken would have had to have weigh 700 pounds, based on the weight of the sample we brought in, and, of course, nobody’s ever seen such a large chicken. Then again, nobody’s ever really seen Big Foot, yet people swear by it, so you tell me. :-)

Anyway, since my family could not afford any additional testing, and the University refused to further investigate and threatened us with
legal action unless we stopped calling them, the bone has been in our basement now for about, well, a good 15 years. We thought about painting it, but that might decrease its value. Which is, as we speak,
zero.

But the point of the book is that maybe there are other kids who have experienced the same thing. Maybe they’ve been traumatized by it, as I have. I swear I dreamt about a 700 pound chicken coming into my bedroom for a few years after that. My pediatrician has suggested that that fear has contributed to my early incontinence issues. To which I say, hold on there!

The book and the 12-step guide to identify and preserve and protect (almost sounds like the Dade County Police!) unusual backyard bones.
I have contacted the estate of famed child psychologist Dr. Hiam Ginott for their feedback and hope to hear from them soon. I also hope
one of Dr. Ginott’s children (if he has any) will consent to write a blurb for the book.

Can I send you a chapter of "Maybe There is a Dinosaur in Your Backyard?" and a picture or two of the chicken bone (or whatever it is)?

Truly sincere,

danielarants said...

Dear Agent/Agency,


I just want to take a moment and thank you for your kind consideration of the followin. I'd love to hear what you think about my current work-in-progress tentatively titled "Yes." I haven't given the title much thought, but I've been told that that the agent's job. I'm sure you can do one better.

I know you're extremely busy and you have hundreds of query's to read. That's why instead of telling you about it, I've taken the liberty of adding the .pdf version of my full manuscript as an attachment to this email, as well as the first fifty pages in the body. The other three attachments are previews for what I want for the cover of my book. If I don't hear back from you by the end of the week, I'll give you a call over the weekend so we can discuss it.

If you prefer I swing by you office to discuss it personally, let me know. I've dropped off my manuscript there before, so I'm already very familiar with your place of business. Any time is good for me as I've quit my job to focus soley on my writing. My wife says my writing is reminiscent of Stephanie Meyers so I know it's going to make us both a lot of money.

Currently I'm in the process of finishing up the next three books and I'll follow up by sending you those too.

Below you will find a link to the synopsis if you need a little more info.

Again, you won't regret opening that attachment. I'm confident you're going to say yes to "Yes".

Sincerely,

Hugh Jass.

K.S. said...

Dear Faceless, Tentacled Agent Person That I Probably Will Never Hear From (SO WHY AM I WASTING MY TIME?!):

How are you? I am fine. I mean, other than my girlfriend dumping me for another girl named Michelle and taking my dog, I am fine. I mean, she could have just left me and been done with it, but you know, I liked that dog. But, yeah, I'm fine.


I am prepared to sacrifice my life's work upon your bloodied altar. This masterwork, A TREATISE ON NOSE-HAIR AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT OF SOUTHERN SIBERIA, is up to five-hundred and fifty-three chapters. To show my contempt for the conspicuous consumership of modern day America, my manuscript is printed on thirty-year old onion skin and is written ancient Cyrrilic language, font size 3. To enhance your reading experience, I have also enclosed six of my very own nose hairs in their original state. (I am sorry about that, I have a cold.)

When I am asked what possible effect nose-hair could have on Siberia's political environment, I am obliged to answer, read my book. Duh! I would say my book is somewhere between Swiss Family Robinson, Ren and Stimpy, with hints of Kirkegaard's EITHER/OR. My granny in a home with no teeth and no cable, and she says this book is the best book of all time.

I'm not going to include any contact information. I'm pretty easy to find. I'll be the naked guy chained to your mailbox this evening, offering you a daiquiri made out of squirrel milk.

Just so we're clear, you're not going to leave me for Michelle, are you?


Sincerely,

Ino Whur Uliv

K.S. said...

Dear Faceless, Tentacled Agent Person That I Probably Will Never Hear From (SO WHY AM I WASTING MY TIME?!):

How are you? I am fine. I mean, other than my girlfriend dumping me for another girl named Michelle and taking my dog, I am fine. I mean, she could have just left me and been done with it, but you know, I liked that dog. But, yeah, I'm fine.


I am prepared to sacrifice my life's work upon your bloodied altar. This masterwork, A TREATISE ON NOSE-HAIR AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT OF SOUTHERN SIBERIA, is up to five-hundred and fifty-three chapters. To show my contempt for the conspicuous consumership of modern day America, my manuscript is printed on thirty-year old onion skin and is written ancient Cyrrilic language, font size 3. To enhance your reading experience, I have also enclosed six of my very own nose hairs in their original state. (I am sorry about that, I have a cold.)

When I am asked what possible effect nose-hair could have on Siberia's political environment, I am obliged to answer, read my book. Duh! I would say my book is somewhere between Swiss Family Robinson and Ren and Stimpy, with hints of Kirkegaard's EITHER/OR thrown in for variety. My granny in a home with no teeth and no cable, and she says this book is the best book of all time.

I'm not going to include any contact information. I'm pretty easy to find. I'll be the naked guy chained to your mailbox this evening, offering you a daiquiri made out of squirrel milk.

Just so we're clear, you're not going to leave me for Michelle, are you?


Sincerely,

Ino Whur Uliv

K.S. said...

Dear Dear Faceless, Tentacled Agent Person WHO HAS HAD MY MASTERWORK FOR A FULL 24 HOURS AND HASN'T BOTHERED TO RESPOND WITH AWE AND RAPTURE:

Yo!

In retrospect, describing myself as the naked guy chained to your mailbox et al probably wasn't politically correct, but there was a logical explaination. Before my girlfriend dumped me for Michelle, she made me a daiquiri out of squirrel's milk, said we were going to have fun...and when I came back in the room, she told me about Michelle, and then pushed me out of the apartment and locked the door...without giving me my clothes back. So, really, there's nothing creepy about my earlier statement at all.

As I stated in my greeting, you've had twenty-four hours to fall in love with my novel, A TREATISE ON NOSE-HAIR AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT OF SOUTHERN SIBERIA. By now, you should have at least read 90% of my work, and should be heavily under the spell of my mad writing skills. Yet, I still haven't heard from you. I find this behavior highly unprofessional. How are we to ride the wave of public and literary adoration if you don't contact me.

Sincerely, the guy still chained to your mailbox,

Ino Whur Uliv

Laura Fournier said...

Dear Ms.Editor Man:

I'm writing this query on behalf of William Steig. Please consider "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble." I'm sending it to you because it was rejected by several other companies. What do they know?

This masterpiece is about a donkey that nobody rides. No one even sits on him until he becomes a rock.

At first this might appear to be a young adult novel. However, it is really an nonfiction book about rock collecting with a subplot that answers the question: Should donkeys wear clothes? All the donkeys in this story wear clothes except for Sylvester, the main character. Sylvester finds a lucky rock and wishes for rain. He gets wet because he's not wearing a raincoat.

This book can be marketed to geologists and the pet fashion industry. I think it should be sold with a one-size-fits-all donkey outfit. A large segment of the population believe that animals should wear clothes. To promote this book, I'm willing to participate in a donkey parade. Also, I plan to donate a portion of the profits to the "Animals Need Clothes" foundation, a cause I support wholeheartedly.

This is not an "exclusive submission" as stated by your guidelines, because it's a best seller, and I have to initiate a bidding war. I know you will understand after you read the caliber of my work. If I were you, I'd send me a contract as soon as you receive this letter.

I have no publishing credits, but geologists and donkeys like my work. Yesterday I found an interesting rock which I have enclosed. I knew you'd want to see it. Please return it as soon as possible. It only weighs five pounds and won't cost you very much to send back. Thanks.

Your future famous author,

Laura Fournier (writing William Steig's first draft of a query on a bad day)

Dee - chocolatewriter@yahoo.com said...

No Contact Information
Here or Anywhere

Deer Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Whatever M. Smoot:

I bought the bright green sticker on the outside of the envelope on eBay so I don’t really know what gender you are since I didn’t actually attend the conference at witch you spoke. Sorry. I paid good money for the “M. Smoot” sticker to gain access to your closed publishing house, so I hope you appreciate it. I’m sure you did a wonderful, stupendous, fantastic job at the conference and gave a fabulous, mesmerizing, interesting speech. Thanks for being such a helpful, kind, grate editor.

Anyway, enough about you. Now for my soon-to-be best seller... you’re gonna love it! Since it has an elephant AND a donkey in it, it will surpass sales of "Horton Hears a Who" and "Winnie the Pooh" (with Eeyore) combined. I know it will be made into a poplar movie and will be translated into many languages. That’s why I want to keep all foreign rites. I also want fool plush animal sales.

My book is called THE ELEPHANT AND THE DONKEY and it is completely in rhyme. Since it is about animals, I tested it out on my cat and dog and they absolutely loved it! They showed their appreciation by marking the corners of this manuscript. You’ll probably be able to tell (or smell) witch corner is witch.

I didn’t read my story to any pre-schools because I didn’t want the teachers to still the idea, but I know kids will love it!!!

Hear is more about it...

My 20,000-word picture book
For ages two to four,
Covers many topics
Other children’s books ignore.

Taxes, stocks, and politics
Are introduced in rhyme.
The story is sure to be a hit
At every child’s bedtime.

You’ll want to publish this right away.
It’s going to be a best seller,
More popular than "The Cat in the Hat,"
Or that tearjerker, "Old Yeller."

The conflict is that an elephant
And donkey can’t agree.
They fight over just about everything,
Including cups of tea.

Will they ever learn to get along?
Can these protagonists save the world?
I’m writing a 1000-page sequel,
Where the answers will be unfurled.

Believe me, this book will fly off the shelves and beat the ebook download record, so you’ll want to publish this by November so we can both become rich quick. That’s only about a month away, but if you overnight the contract to me, I’ll sign it write away and the illustrator can start immediately. Oh, I really like the work of Tomie dePaola. I hope you can get him for this book. Do you have that kind of pool?

I know you only wanted a query and ten pages, but I am so confident you’ll like my work that I scent the hole book. I am offering this as an exclusive transmission for one week, but after that I’ll really need to move on if I haven’t herd from you. I want to enjoy my millionaire status before the world ends or before the next election - whichever comes first. Who knows what the tax rate will be after that!

I should tell you that I’ve already been published in my third grade newspaper, so I’ll want the “royal treatment” when it comes to royalties. We can go over all that when I meat you in person. Yule love how punny I am.

Sincerely,
Dee Ranged

P.S. - I hope you like the red, white, and blue elephant and donkey sugar cookies I enclosed. They were only supposed to have white and blue icing on them, but my three-year old helped make them and she had an owie at the time, hence the red coloring. I was going to send a tea bag, too, so you could have tea and cookies, but Tea Party stuff seems to be getting a bad rap lately and I didn’t know your fillings on that, so I decided against it.

Julia Munroe Martin said...

Dear Ms. Agent,

Have you ever read a book you just can’t put down? Yes or no? Whatever, you need to read my book ALL ABOUT GILLY, one of those “chick-lit gum” books, probably the best one EVER!!!!

It’s about this chick named Gilly who moves to a new city, gets a cat, meets Mr. Right, they break up, then they get back together, and then they break up again. And she gets ROBBED and gets FIRED and well, there’s lots more action and romance but I don’t want to ruin it for you!!!!!! (But don’t worry it has a happy ending, girlfriend :) Mostly it’s Gilly talking, like first person? But sometimes her CAT talks (nice touch, huh?) and sometimes her mom! And that’s a huge, HUGE conflict for her (Gilly not the cat), maybe the biggest conflict in the whole book: her mom won’t stop talking for her! But she also has this way cool, hot boyfriend (yes there is even a...gulp... sex scene!). And the cat, and there are some assorted friends. But again, I don’t want to ruin your surprises!!!

And you know what? It works, the book just rocks. My best friend and her mom and MY mom and even everyone in my knitting circle really REALLY love it and say they can’t put it down. Even my husband. And he doesn’t read. (At all, I mean he really doesn’t!)

But the biggest reason you and anyone else won’t be able to put it down! HERE’S THE THING, the HOOK! I have the best idea. In my book, Gilly is the kind of friend you just can’t get rid of, kind of “stuck to you with glue,” if you know what I mean. So my idea is that the cover will be sticky. That way, people really truly won’t be able to put it down. Capiche?

As for me? Who do I think I am, trying to write a book? I’ll tell you who. I’ve written tons of other stuff. I am in charge of my church newsletter, for one, and I also write ads for my friends’ yard sales and even for my husband’s boat we sold in one day on Craigs List! (I attached a letter from the buyer!) Plus, let’s not forget, I read a lot of chick-lit gum books! My favorite books to read are the romance stories of the stars. They rock! AND I raise Maine Coon Cats!! How cool is that?

So, did I catch you with my hook? Are you ready to be “reeled in” and glued to your seat? You know you want to read it! I’m attaching the first 10 pages, but that will never be enough to really even meet the mom or the cat or even Gilly! When should I send the whole dang thing? I know your website says to wait, but are you as excited as I am??? (Please, oh please, pretty please with sugar, Sugar ;) I’ll tell you what, I’ll wait until next week then call you for your answer.

Hugs xo,
Julia Munroe Martin

p.s. I’m attaching a picture that I think might be perfect for the cover. I took it last week at my friend’s birthday party! She loved it too!

Beth said...

Dear Agent (or Editor):

I have recently had a fabulous idea for a book, and I wanted to share it with you because I'm sure it would be a perfect choice for publication. I'm certain that you're going to go wild over it, because it's also a shoo-in as a hit movie. At this point, I'm guessing that there will be multiple printings of the book in addition to the movie deal. Possibly we'll be looking at action figures, because when I ran it by my kids and all their friends, they were absolutely ecstatic.

Before I go into the particulars, I'd like to know what kind of contract I will be looking at for this blockbuster. I'm thinking a five-figure advance would be acceptable, but with the vying that will be taking place on this manuscript, you might want to go with six-figures to insure you're in the running. I've looked into copyrighting my idea, but since I haven't done this yet, I'm sure you'll understand that until I hear from the first publishers or agents to respond, I can't give out the plot details.

I urge you to make your offer quickly and have included my email address so that you can contact me before it's too late. I'm starting the first draft this week.

Sincerely,

I. M. Naive
clueless@gmail.com

Nicole Zoltack said...

Yo, Agent,

Attached is my 395K contemptorary romance novel. I cant wait for ur phone call!!!

Btw, Ive allready writem the next 5 books in the series. I attached them to.

Author
[email address]

Riv Re said...

Love this idea!

Agent
I just wrote an awesome bk that ik youll totes <3. Its about this girl and this vampire she loves. This bk iz gonna b a bestseller. I got the idea, like, a yr ago and i wrote it in the past yr n i almost finished. It's amazing.
this bk is totally gonna sell a billion copys. My parents like it, and my BFF is totes OB-ed [obsessed] with it + ik u will be too.

Dis is gonna b my 3rd published work. My school newspaper printed my poem in 5th grade n I was on de yrbk staff in 8th grade.

The bk iz a bunch of pgs long, and its gonna b more popular than HP, Lord of the Rings, and Charles Dickens stuff together!!!!
OMG, ull heart it. its <3breaking n makes u laff n cry all at 1ce. :)

Attached is my MS. It's .docx, Arial, 11 pt cuz that's what micro word told me.

kthxbai,
awesum author

That was fun. Thanks so much for hosting this giveaway!
rivkarno1(At)Hotmail(dot)com

Beth said...

This isn't a query, but this contest made me think of this:


Appeasing the publishing gods

Feverish drum beats echo through the sultry jungle night as natives with torches, like a line of wavering fireflies, make their way up the side of a rumbling volcano. The tropical breezes drift past unnoticed as they climb past trees and around boulders, each clutching a sacrifice to his or her breast.

Finally, as they attain the rim, the reverberation of seismic activity throws them to the ground. Their chief is the first to struggle to his feet.

"My fellow writers!" he thunders to the crowd. "We must appease the publishing gods. Have you your sacrifices?"

As one, they respond with an affirmative cry over the grumbling of the volcano.

"And are they first drafts, unedited and pure in their original form, printed on pastel paper in colored inks so they are sure to gain the attention of an editor?"

"Yes! Yes!"

"Are you certain you have made no attempt whatever to research which publishers might be interested in your genre or type of writing?"

"Yes!"

The natives are in a wild frenzy by now, waving their manuscripts over their heads.

"It is time!" shrieks the chief. "Throw your sacrifices into the volcano. The publishing gods must be appeased!"

In a cascade of colorful papers completely lacking sufficiently postaged self-addressed stamped envelopes for return responses, the manuscripts plunge into the fiery depths where they are incinerated before they can touch the molten maelstrom below. A wailing keen fills the darkness as the natives hurry down into their jungle huts.

"Do you think we'll hear anything this time?" one native whispers to his neighbor.

"Absolutely. This time I added a handwritten note about how my kids and wife loved my story. I'm guessing they'll get back to me in less than two weeks. By the way, I'm looking for an illustrator for my picture book. Can you recommend anyone?"

Heather Hawke said...

Every day for six months, 2011


Your maiden name
Your kid’s name
Your dog’s name
Your home Address

P.O. Box 666
Underground Station
Antarctica

My dearest hunny-pooh,

I haven’t received an answer yet from my previous 180 qeuries, so I will assume they were lost in the mail - It does get lost a lot on the way to Antarctica, but I have enclosed extra postage, of course its argentinin, but you can go to there consul, I’m sure theirs one in the big apple.you shouldnt tell people anyway that you only except email qeuries. Anyways I had a dream about you last night!!! We were celebrating making more money then JK Rowlins – you know who she is right Did you know she’s richer than the queen?

ANyways, I got this story. This guy lives underground. Kinda like Antarctica huh? He says governments are all evil – kinda like the real ones, I know you know there watching us. I like to talk about how everbodys really crazy. He gets a ton of moola and retires…..but wants to tell everybody about it, so he rights notes. I got this guy on line to give me a, whatchamacallit, a logline. I paid him three months salary. He said to say its about (change of font) a bitter misanthropic man living in St. Petersburg, Russia in the 1860s.

You know i'v been working on my masterwork for twenty years. its kind of like my life ---i know everybody will want to read. I ve always knew id be a author. And guess what? i know you’re going to be super excited. I’m coming to visit you!!! I wont be much bother – I can sleep on your couch. I dont have a lot of money, but your a real insider so you can get us free food at those parties publisher throw. Their so rich off crappy books theyll be super excited to meet a real author like moi.

Fondly, your best friend forever and ever, btw I enclosed a pic of me with my brother. He might come with me to visit!!!!!! He needs to get out more, since he just got parole. Super fondly, *ME*

Beth said...

Coming back at the end of the day and reading these, I think they ought to be published in their own book because they are hysterical. I'd hate to be the judge trying to pick a favorite.

(Okay, maybe it would be funnier if they weren't too close to some of the query letters people actually send, but still, I'm laughing!)

Great contest idea!!!!