Well I’m still not sure what occured to have Lisa’s Blog disappear, but I have it back now and we will repost it. She’ll be picking a winner soon.
Thank you for your patience and once again here’s LISA LOGAN!!
WORST QUERY LETTER EVER
My mother always told me I like to learn things the hard way, and she was right. I often discover how to do something after exploring (thoroughly) how NOT to do it. For instance, when I took up web design years ago, my bible was Web Sites That Suck: Learn Good Design by Looking at Bad Design. And I won’t bring up the fact that I’m on my third marriage. I rest my case.
As an author and editor, I frequently hear, “How do I write a good query letter?” Pshaw! Let’s explore what makes a query really, thoroughly awful…and give you guys a chance to win a prize for doing it!
In 500 words or less, post the worst query you can come up with. This does not, I repeat, does not have to be an actual query you’ve sent out! (If the shoe fits, however, let ‘er rip.) Let your imagination soar…or rather, drag through the mire.
Post entries here in the comments between now and July 6th at midnight (Pacific Standard Time). I will be judging queries based on originality, gawd awfulness, and sheer groan factor. I will post the winner’s name here on July 7th.
What’s the prize?
Besides the genuine thrill of a job well done, the winner will receive: I’ll post the winning entry and design a special feature interview to showcase your work—whether or not you’re currently published—on a trio of blogs during August. I’ll post announcements to my mailing list and groups as well. So, who’s up for a bit of fun and free promotion? To get the ball rolling, I’ll start you off with an example query letter I did as a joke (really!):
To Whom It May Concern:
My friend read some book you published and said I should give you a shot because my book is gonna be great.
See, the publishers I wanted rejected my manu-script. It’s like I always say, publishers couldn’t see white if you put ‘em in a snowstorm. Really missin’ out, man. And those agents I tried? Worthless as a penny in a jewelry store–don’t get me started. So what the hay, my parole officer canceled my appointment and I had nothin’ better to do, see, so I figured I’d let you prove you’re not as thick as those 44 other guys and will give me the recognition that Mother says I truly deserve. (Not my real mother—that’s what we called Big Ralph back in the joint.)
I know you’re dying to hear all about my book but WHOA, stop right there! Before you get all soaped up about it, let me assure you I had plenty of time to read about law the past coupla years. I’m all edumacated about a little thing I like to call ‘copyright infringement.’ So I’m too smart to tell you my whole idea right NOW. AFTER I get my six figure advance, then we’ll talk details.
Now that’s settled, here’s about my book. It starts with me trying to get ahead. I’m a good Joe, but the world keeps smacking me around, see? So I embezzle some money here, “borrow” a car there–you know, tryin’ to make my way. And the bank thing in Muskogee, too, but it wasn’t my fault about the ATM blowin’ up. They should build ‘em better.
Anyway, I wrote a book about how the country doesn’t work right, see, for guys like me, but no one would publish it. Not one of those good-for-nothin’ editors saw how genius it was. So then I get to thinking. Hey, I says to myself (Big Ralph was there, too), what if I write a book about how I wrote that book and no one would publish it? Expose the whole freakin’ mess, see? So I did and it’s called (you’re gonna love this!) “Editors Schmeditors: Why Those Lyin Freaks Won’t Give a Guy A Break.” Great, huh?
You’d be smart to jump this. We all looked and couldn’t find a single book like it in the joint’s library. It’s one of a kind. I’m sure you wanna phone me right now to talk movie deals and all (I want Robert Downey, Jr. to play me in the film), but I don’t have a phone. Guess you’ll just have to fork over for a stamp, like I had to do. Ha!
James “The Cramp” Fowlup
Wasn’t that touching?
So rev up those keystroking fingers, folks, and let’s see what you’ve got! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lisa Logan is the author of two novels and an award-winning short story author. She is the editor of MysteryAuthors.com’s flash fiction zine Minute Mystery, and for Eternal Press. Visit Lisa on the web at http://lisalogan.net.