Monday, July 4, 2011

Querying With Attitude

     So you are afraid to send out the results of all your hard work? It happens, but eventually it has to get out there. Being that mine is a humor book, I took a humorous approach to querying. See what you think.

Dear Publisher/Agent/Person Who Makes Things Happen: 
     Know up front that I'm not making your already hectic and cram-packed day worse. In fact, I plan on making life less complicated, more exciting, a breath of fresh air.

     To assist you in locating the great American woman's humor book, I present to you Wrinkles, Waistlines, and Wet Pants. I have thoroughly researched your company. This is no hasty eeny-meeny-miny-mo decision. I'm absolutely sure you'd be the best venue for a soon-to-be-hilariously successful book.

     I'm certain your slush piles are 95% totally inappropriate; genres  your company doesn't handle, such as poetry or Christian writing. Perhaps the writing is amateurish, poorly done, with no regard to grammar or proper English language. Certain submissions with foul language have curled your toes and arched your back.

     You're so over the Harry Potter wannabees and the thousands of romance boilerplate novels cranked out on a daily basis. You know you're not going to be able to read all of this crap on company time because your day is a relay race from one meeting to another, interspersed with urgent and not-so-urgent phone calls.

     At the end of the work day, you slide the top two inches of your latest slush pile into your briefcase and vow to read whenever you have a few minutes of down time, in between traffic jams, stopping for groceries and gasoline, picking up the dry cleaning, and helping the kids with homework.

     Lo and behold! A few unexpected minutes are awarded to you. You pull out the first few envelopes. The one with the bright red envelope releases a shower of confetti on you as you tear open the envelope.You'll be finding those sparkly decorations for the next five months. You're a little pissed that you fell for the red envelope trick again.

     The second envelope contains a form letter, obviously sent to many other houses, although the author claims it to be an exclusive submission. The blank after Dear ______________ has been filled in, unfortunately not with the your name but the name of a different publisher. In addition, the author neglected to sign the letter. Another Oops!

     You're on a mission, a miner searching for a gem. So far, only rocks and cubic zirconia have showed themselves. None of the real stuff. Of course, the musical card that played the song "Do I Make You Proud?" by Taylor Hicks was a nice touch but come on! Who does this stuff? You want good writing, not a frickin' musical card!

     You're now wishing you had saved that bottle of wine you received from that hopeful would-be author last week. You might need a couple glasses of wine to plow through these.

     But then...the last one of the night makes you forget how tired you are, and that you have some paperwork to do before the morning. You read. And read some more. Your heart beats faster, a giggle escapes and your think to yourself. This is what I was looking for!

     It begins...
      Wrinkles, elastic waistbands and peeing have taken over my life. The day of my 50th birthday was the biggest wake-up call ever. It was finally time to take a critical look at myself to determine what the hell had happened. My body had matured, but Mother Nature had cruelly switched over to the express track. The speed with which I had aged had accelerated to an unbelievable momentum.

     There is no turning back. Once I overtook that half-century marker, my body developed an iron will of its own, exacting revenge for all of the rampant abuse I had heaped upon it during my earlier years. Simple coughs and sneezes now may require changes in underwear. Gravity is the victor in the ongoing tug-of-war between my top and my bottom. My body weight has been forced to migrate from my northern hemisphere south to my equator. One fateful day, I viewed myself in the mirror and realized that I had morphed into a human Tinker-Toy.
     The illustrations make you laugh out loud. You want to read more about Tinker Toy Woman.
     I can help you with that.

     For more information contact me at your earliest convenience.
     Jeanne Kraus   


Anonymous said...

It must have worked for you. I'm afraid with my shortage of patience I wouldn't have gotten past the second paragraph before it hit the bins. The description of the book itself....killer....I have to get it.

Sharon said...

Hilarious but long. Can you compact this to about 3 paragraphs? Or is this the letter you actually sent and it worked?

Jeanne said...

I actually wrote this for fun. I have self pubbed the book and it is out in ebook format so probably an editor or agent might not be interested in one already out. It is an added challenge. But I did have fun writing a query as though I were sending it out. THis is from all the different agent and editor talks from conferences that I have heard. A conglomeration of their words...

AllMyPosts said...

I really dunno what query letters are! Thanks for posting yours!!

Happy to learn the making!!

with warm regards
Another Author

Bodacious Boomer said...

Let me know how it works out for you. I've thought of actually trying to put something together, but the publishing part sounds like a real nightmare.

Regina said...

I have some corrections to make but in the long run, yes, I'm terrified to send it out. I have written and re-written it 100 times. lol