This crawled into my email box.
Dear Miss Snark,
I found your agency listing at Publisher's Market Place, and visited your web site. Both your agency and your web site have the professionalism I have found lacking elsewhere.
oh really? you mean my mom's site? and the woman who gave me a job out of college? and my two dearest friends? Look lady, you've just insulted my colleagues. I may think some of them are halfwits, but only *I* get to say it.
Never ever, and I mean EVER start a query letter with a slap in the face to another agent. It's just downright fucking rude. And if you think it's true, it's still rude.
At Publisher's Market Place, I noted your sale of the novel "XYZ", by Joe Smith to Big Publisher and thought you might be interested in representing my current work. Below, please find the details of my novel, "(Novel Title)" If you're interested, sample chapters, detailed and expanded synopsis, or complete manuscript are ready to be printed and mailed.
Make sure XYZ has more than passing resemblence to your novel. "I noticed you sold Forrest Gump so I thought you'd be interested in my crawfish cookbook" is funny...and not unheard of in the slush piles.
TITLE: "Novel Title"
GENRE: Heroic fantasy.
WORD COUNT: About 120,500 words---completed
EXTRA INFO: The novel combines the feel of Author X's "Novel" with a mix of Writer Y's "Story," a romp with a philosophical twist.
DESCRIPTION/SHORT SYNOPSIS: Five years ago, Horras Radenkin hired Gilran Kisfeld to recover the Starfire Gem. When Gilran learned Horras intended to use it to unseat the Duke of Larian, he threw it into a turbulent bay. Bent on revenge, Horras murdered Gilran's wife and daughter while Gilran looked on, magically paralyzed. Now, Gilran has something else Horras wants: the secret to claiming the throne of Waredia.
Gilran is haunted by his inability to protect his family. The last thing he wants is to be king, so he devises a plan to pass reign to a nobleborn friend. But when Horras kidnaps a blacksmith who knows Gilran's secret, Gilran must decide whether to rescue the blacksmith or save the country from a tyranical ruler -- by claiming the throne himself.
AUTHOR BIO; PREVIOUS PUBLICATIONS: I've completed several novel writing courses through the Writer's Digest school, and coauthored a nonfiction software book published in 1999 by XYZ Publishing Company.
CONTACT INFO: Feel free to call or email any time: 800-555-1212 rings my cell phone, and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
This is an interesting format and one that appeals to my love of organization. If I sold this genre, I'd read on IF you don't have that opening paragraph.
I'd toss this if you did: I don't like the attitude, and good writing is a lot but life is too short to have more than one snark in the stable.
Love and kisses,