Thursday, September 17, 2015

How to Write a Perfectly Dreadful Query Letter

by H. Linn Murphy

Because I am a backwards girl, I like to explore the whatif side of things sometimes. So this is my stab at writing a What-if-I-Wrote-the-Worst-Query-I-can-Possibly-Think-of query.

The jury is still out on whether writing a horrible query is worse than writing no query at all, but I can't write a negative, so here goes:

Subject: My book (Let's just make this a great big void in space.)

Hi, um, whoever. I rote this book and just new you'd like it; because it's stoopendus. (Already the slush pile slave's finger is hovering over the delete button for several reasons. Misspelled words, bad grammar, and boasting are all flags. Don't worry about the color of the red flag.)
I got your name off the internet. Put this at the top of your pile. I just know all your readers will read this book and love it so much. (Yeah, don't bother finding out anything about this publisher or what they want to publish. Also don't specify a target audience. On the off chance that your slush pile slave has gone to lunch and just left your query on her desk, keep going.)

This book is about cats. How to take care of cats. I had a cat once. It was a tabby with cute little paws that need me in my chest and chaste mice and one day it cot one and brought it to my feet and it was so cute I just had to right about it cuz I now how to take care of cats reel good cuz I have 51 if you don't count the wild one's that come eat at my house two. They just love me--love love love love. So i will right down all my ways of feeding them and taking care of them and making sweters out of there fir. Their are alot of things you can make out of there fir cuz thay shead alot all over the place and sometimes p but you can try and train em if you just dont feed em. (Poor slushy is either gagging on her sub sandwich or sending the thing out to her co-workers as an example of what dolphins can do with some education. Don't bother letting anybody else read your query. They might steal it.)

This book is 1,000 pages and the size is 24. I'm not dun with it, but if you want to publish this, I can have it done next year. I think. (Slushy is revising her estimates. Even mentally challenged dolphins write better queries. For a dreadful query about a cat book, anything over 65,000 words is great. In fact, the bigger the better. Try 100,000+ words. That'll wow 'em. And try to make the font unreadable and either too small or too large. Don't do 10--10.5 point type and definitely don't look at the publisher's parameters and go by them. In fact, don't even read a publisher's parameters. They're merely guidelines anyway.)

I might send this out to a bunch of other publishers to. If I don't here back by Tuesday, I'm camping on the lawn of the publishing house. (They'll just love that. Make sure you park far away so they don't come by and let the air out of your tires.)

I have a high school diploma and I know how to make doilies. I don't have a husband write now but if you no any good guys that would be swell. Oh and I got a award for spelling in third grade. My teacher said I should right a book so here I am righting a book. (Don't worry about keeping your credentials current or having anything to do with your subject. They'll know right away anyway.)

Wow. You've done it. Now just sit back and rake in the big bucks.

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