query fail, part 2

in college (at wheaton), i had a buddy named greg daniel. greg and i lived on the same dorm floor when we were sophomores, but most of the other guys on the floor were freshman. and good times were had (including a hallway game called “dart wars” that resulted in me walking with a cane for a few weeks after i got a dart stuck in my knee cap).

i lost track of greg for years, but noticed he surfaced in christian publishing, as the executive editor of “w publishing” (then a division of thomas nelson). when thomas nelson disbanded w, greg started his own literary agency. now, when i’m in nashville, we usually connect, which has been fun.

anyhow, recently on his twitter page, greg went a little nuts for a day, tweeting a whole wad of “query fail” tweets. a “query” is the letter (or email) an aspiring author sends a publisher or agent in hopes of getting their writing considered. these babies had me laughing out loud, so i asked greg if i could collect them all and post them. they start out almost helpful, but quickly degrade to true weirdness.

here’s part one. and now, for your amusement, i present part 2 of greg daniel’s complete list of query fail tweets:

Your book is titled Frogs of Heaven. Really? That’s what you’re going with? #queryfail

“I am writing a book. What is the going rate for literary agents?” You’re in luck! Special going on now. We’re two for a buck. #queryfail

“Imagine a world where Camelot had never existed” Wow. You’re blowing my mind. #queryfail

“I have 9 completed manuscripts including 2 fiction, a SF trilogy, and 4 fantasy” Okay, just send them all to me. In a big box. #queryfail

“In a week, I read works by Philip Roth, Junot Diaz, & Paul Beatty, & this is what I concluded: It’s my turn! ” Um, no. It isn’t. #queryfail

“I know you don’t represent children’s literature, but I hope you’ll make an exception in my case.” Let me think….No. #queryfail

“Before you respond to my query, please send a test email for my spam filter.” I got yer spam filter right here. #queryfail

“I believe you will be interested in representing my novel & me for many years to come.” I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky. #queryfail

“Have you ever wondered what its like to be pulled up a waterfall or to be flushed down a toilet? ” Hey. Have you been reading my mind? #queryfail

“The story has an unusual hero, a former Navy SEAL …” A former Navy SEAL? That is wacky. Where do you come up with this stuff? #queryfail

“Keep in mind that this novel is a bit of my imagination…” I’m just glad its not ALL of your imagination. #queryfail

“This fictional work is meant for entertainment purposes…” Sorry. I represent only novels meant for medicinal purposes. #queryfail

“My novel is a sumptuous feast of meticulously researched historical fact and superbly crafted fiction” Burp. #queryfail

“This isn’t my first published work I have published two articles in G4S Pipeline Trade Publication” REALLY? I never miss an issue! #queryfail

I’m considering changing my name to “Sir/Madam.” More of the queries would seem personal that way. #queryfail

“I understand you’re interested in historical fiction submissions, filled with both action and intrigue” Both action AND intrigue? No. #queryfail

“I’ve queried more than 50 other agents with this and have gotten nowhere and now I’m querying you.” You had me at ‘hello.’ #queryfail

“I am writing this query letter to request permission to submit my proposal to you.” Permission denied. #queryfail

2 thoughts on “query fail, part 2”

  1. Marko – Dude, I’m sore from cringing all the way through both posts. I imagine Greg’s experience with all these query fails is a bit like pastors getting asked (all the time), “So what do you *do* all week?”

    I do wonder, though, what queries manage to catch Greg’s eye. Although, publishing them would probably only lead to a slew of similarly phrased queries that then segue into query fails :)

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