Monday, 9 May 2011

A Famous Query!

Today, I'm editing a query from a group of writers - four, to be exact. Now, this is a sort of strange collaboration, so I'm wondering how the query will turn out. Four writers? Could be excellent, could be muddled - let's see, shall we?

Dear Sir/Madam
So long as you switch this to the name of the agent before sending it out, you're okay. Don't ever send it out with this greeting!
Would you read my book? It took me years to write, will you take a look? It's based on a novel by a man named Leer (How based are we talking? Copyright infringement? You may want to take this out) and I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer. (This reason doesn't exactly inspire confidence...) A paperback writer. (Don't be repetitive)
It's a dirty story of a dirty man and his clinging wife doesn't understand. (Good set up for the conflict, but a little too vague.) His son is working for the Daily Mail, it's a steady job, but he wants to be a paperback writer. (Wait - so is this about the son or father? Clarify!)A paperback writer.
Paperback writer, paperback writer. (I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish by this repetition...)
It's a thousand pages, give or take a few. (use word count, not pages) I'll be writing more in a week or two. (Wait, this isn't finished?!? Why are you querying?!) I could make it longer if you like the style, (willingness to cooperate is good, but you need more confidence in your novel) I could change it round and I want to be a paperback writer. A paperback writer. (...)
If you really like it you could have the rights, it could make a million for you overnight! (Classic blunder - never tell the agent how much it could sell, they'll figure that out for themselves. You're just digging yourself a hole.) If you must return it, you can send it here(don't forget to send a SASE), but I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer. Paperback writer.
Paperback writer, writer, writer.
Paperback writer, paperback writer.
Paperback writer, paperback writer.
Paperback writer, paperback writer.
Paperback writer, paperback writer.

Well, these four have some work to do. But they did go all out with this query, they even included this video:

Something tells me the publishing industry is the wrong business for these guys.

What do you think?




L.G.Smith said...


That was great. Very funny.

Rachel Searles said...

Hahahaha! That's awesome :) I love that song!

Janet Johnson said...

Hilarious! Love your critique. :)

Lisa Aldin said...


Phil Hall said...

Janet @ Query Shark needs to know about this.. funny!

Talli Roland said...

Fab critique! LOL!