Friday, November 26, 2010

Worst Query Ever (just for fun)

This was inspired by listening to my brother-in-law playing Beatles Rock Band in the background while I was chatting with my sister in Switzerland via Skype. I had never thought about it before, but the song is really just a very bad query.

Paperback Writer by Lennon/McCartney

Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book? You should really be specific in your query. Research the agent you plan to send to. If you don't care about me or my agency, it implies you don't understand our client base, preferences, or have the common decency to address us respectfully.
It took me years to write, will you take a look? You just told me that you are not prolific.
It's based on a novel by a man named Lear Copy-write infringement?
And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer, You sound desperate here
Paperback writer.

It's the dirty story of a dirty man Good, you're getting into the story. Try to be more specific. What's his name? What's dirty about him?
And his clinging wife doesn't understand. Doesn't understand what? What's her name? Why is she clingy? Why should we care?
The son is working for the Daily Mail, Again, his name? And is the story about the son or the dirty man? Who is the lead character?
It's a steady job but he wants to be a paperback writer, Is this autobiographical? Is it just about a man trying to get published? Where is the conflict? Why should I want to read this?
Paperback writer.

It's a thousand pages, give or take a few, You should really check with your genre word count guidelines.
I'll be writing more in a week or two. Please don't query a book that is not finished.
I can make it longer if you like the style, I don't think it needs to be any longer than it is, thank you.
I can change it round and I want to be a paperback writer,That's nice that you are flexible
Paperback writer.

If you really like it you can have the rights, Well, yeah, that's what I do here -- why else would you be querying me?
It could make a million for you overnight. If I had a dime for every author that made this claim...
If you must return it, you can send it here You didn't include a SASE and I'm not paying for postage. Your freakin' book is over 1000 pages long!
But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer, I hear that a lot.
Paperback writer.

6 weeks later the Paperback writer receives a rejection form letter on a snippet of paper.

Dear Paperback Writer,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately our agency is not currently accepting submissions of this kind. Thank you for considering us.

A. Gent


Joanna St. James said...

ha ha this is funny but unfortunately we all still commit one kind of query fail or another when we query.

Golden Eagle said...

LOL. That is a pretty bad query letter! But I suppose you could say that writing a bad one is the first step toward writing a good query!

Erin Kane Spock said...

I have yet to write a great query, but I know a lot of what not to do through research and trial and error.
This song was number 1 in the charts in UK and US, so I doubt that the Beatles worried about refining it for content and consistency ever. Maybe I should put my query to music. :)

Ellie Garratt said...

This is so funny but yet deadly serious. I'm sure there are writers out there who make these kinds of mistakes all the time!

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