Tell me if this is evil. You spend two years creating your masterpiece, the great American novel. 600 pages of blood, sweat and tears. You package it up and ship it to Evil Editor with a self-addressed envelope. I remove it from its package, spend thirty seconds reading the first page, roll my eyes, and toss the manuscript onto a pile in the corner. Eight months later I e-mail you a rejection letter because I'm too lazy to walk out to my mailbox and mail you a hard copy. Besides, I can't mail you anything, because I long ago steamed the stamp off your self-addressed envelope and used it to send my 1st wife a letter explaining that she won't be getting any more child support because I blew all my spare cash paying my divorce lawyer to see that I got the Ferrari when my 2nd wife dumped me.
No doubt that's what all writers assume happens when they submit a manuscript. And for the most part, they're right. But occasionally editors have legitimate reasons for rejecting work. As a public service, I'm taking the liberty of publishing excerpts from actual query letters I've received, letters that would have made me cry, if I weren't too busy laughing.
I write like how I talk; pretty darned entertaining.
My manuscript contains 71,282 words and in my opinion is brillant.
Background of the Author is as follows: worked with a Surveyor for some time. Then worked in a Shearing shed ,and after that entered the Army for 6 years. a natural Carpenter, can make furniture
Some events, Carries baby upside down, by leg, breaking it. Attempts to drownd son, from moving boat. Thrown from a car. Set on fire. (See intense) This is only a few event's.
um I wrote a book its about two friends who discover that that they have the power of witchs and they use that power to save the entire witch race from being destroyed, its not really like that but some what
I have the best fantasy that I've ever read, written. I've allowed three people to read it, one a published writer and two of my worst enemies, and they have convinced me to approach a publisher with the manuscript. However, I felt that approaching you with a synapse rather than an unsolicited manuscript.....
I have been in contact with one other publishing house, however, there were terms in their contract that I found most disturbing. The highlight of which required me to pay them to publish my book.
Please excuse my spelling. I'm here to tell you about a book I have writen. Please if you juge the letter's you read by the bigening of there letter please excuse my bluntness and un perfeshionlisum approch.
I am not enclosing a manuscript at this moment. I wish to become more familiar with your company and its processes before divulging my work and I do mean work via any medium. I've spent the last three years on character develpment and background storyline layouts and because of the amount of effort that i've put into my literary work, I refuse to be foolish enough just to give the story away to anyone. The book, itself, consist of no measurable end as I will continue to write the story in a continuing series of cliff-hangers. I did not design the story for short term reading because of its potential to both evolve and to reach into new areas of the imagination. If you satisfy my requirements in the information I've requested, then i will submit to you the introduction for the book. The introduction, which consist of 16,000+ words, will give you an inclination of my writing skills. I wrote the introduction for two reasons. One, to familirize the reader with the main character and some sub-characters and two, it doesn't give any of the true story away in the event a company tries stealing something i've worked so hard on.
Tomorrow: Great Query Letters, Part 2