Is it Crap...round 2..the cover letters

After the day Miss Snark has had, anyone brave enough to send her fodder for the Crap O Meter deserves a prize.


Dear Name of Agent:

You know to get this right, right? Not "Ladies and Gentlemen" Not "Dear Agent"
and REALLY NOT "Dear MR Snark". Miss Snark snarls when her femininity is maligned.
If you do not KNOW, you have no business querying.

When Skye Williams finds lingerie hidden under her husband's side of the bed, her very average, very normal life erupts into a series of startling events. Her best friend's husband dies, she's roped into coordinating an all blue wedding, and she discovers her husband isn't having an affair after all, but he's gay. Then the police decide that her friend's husband was murdered and her friend is their prime suspect.

oh blah blah blah. What happened to those short fun zippy sentences??
You don't have to outline the damn plot!

Skye Williams finds lingerie hidden under her husband's side of the bed. She discovers the other woman is a man. What Sky thought was a nice normal life turns into murder. Her best friend is the suspect. What's a nice suburban photographer to do? Solve it of course.

Now she's divorcing, she's dating, she's trying to find a career, and she's got to solve the murder before her best friend is arrested.

The strength of cozy mysteries is never ever not EVER the plot. It's the people. Trust Miss Snark on this. Tell us who the people are and why we'll like reading about them. (This rule doesn't apply to everyone.)

IF IT'S NOT ONE THING, IT'S A MURDER, is a 78,000 word cozy mystery written in a chicklit tone.

oh good, you've got the title and the word count, the genre and category. This is good. You'd be surprised how many people don't even tell me if it's fiction. Plus the title is cute.

In the second book of the Skye Donovan Photographic Mystery series, LET SLEEPING DOGS DIE, Skye lands a contract shooting calendar photos for a national chain of pet stores. But when the owner of the doggie talent is killed, Skye's life is thrown into chaos. The investigating detective is her on-again/off-again lover, Scott Madison, and he's threatening to close down her shoot until he finds the killer. If that doesn't happen soon, she stands to lose her biggest job ever.

I hate this second book stuff. Just mention that the characters have series written all over them.

I worked in retail advertising for 20 years and have extensive experience with commercial photographers as a stylist, layout artist, and project manager.

Ok, ya, so? You need to mention WHY that is important: ie Skye will know whereof she speaks.
to wit: My 20 years experience in retail advertising and experience with commercial photographers give Skye depth and expertise.

My first book (Name of Book) was published by Medallion Press in May, 2004. The second book (Name of Book, also by Medallion Press) will be on the shelves in November, 2005.

Are these part of the series? Are they mysteries?

I have enclosed a synopsis and three chapters for your consideration, and an SASE for your reply. Please recycle the partial when you no longer need it. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

I hate wordy sentences. Concise: I have enclosed a synopsis and and SASE. (We know you want us to consider this and write back). Thank you for your time and consideration.
No "I look forward to hearing from you" cause chances are..you don't.

Don't print it in ten point tiny type.
Don't print on any color paper but white.
And for godsake don't print it in fun cute type.

All in all, not the worst thing I've ever read by a long shot.

Writing trumps all though, so make those enclosed three chapter just as good as you possibly can.


Anonymous said...

First of all I got really excited when you mentioned that I deserved a pizza. It's late, I'm hungry. Then I realized you thought I deserved a prize, not a pizza.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the comments. I knew it wasn't working but everytime I tried to rewrite it, I felt like a hamster on a wheel. Worse, I felt like an idiot with a stick up my butt.
You knocked the pretentiousness right out of it.
Miss Snark, you rule.

Miss Snark said...

Glad to be of help.
You call for pizza.
I've got the napkins.

Anonymous said...

Pizza? Yay! I knew there was a reason why I visit this blog.