Knit One, Purl Two; Nitwit One, Hurl Too

A Snarkling hoping to avoid his ticket to Philadelphia wonders if Miss Snark has ever received this:

Dear Miss Snark, Bob's Way is very similar to the best selling Tom's Way by Tom (who I have discovered is your biggest client). Of course, Bob's Way is probably written better and I'm sure will sell even more copies. Would you be interested in seeing it? Bob

Of course. There is no shortage in the nitwit brigade applying to me and every other agency in town. There's a REASON big publishers don't take anything except agented work. It's to deal with this exact thing. Dealing with these kinds of query letters is part of the job but it will never ever be something that earns any money. Publishers with a sharp eye on the bottom line just farm out the non paying stuff to agents. Works a treat for them. (There are other reasons they want to take agented stuff only, of course, so hold off on the vituperative emails.)

Anyone who deals with the public has these kinds of stories. Some days I can laugh about it - and some days I just want to track them down with a supersoaker hose and clean out their cranium... wherever it might be.

PS If any one reading the post wonders WHY this is a query letter from a nitwit, ask me. I'll be glad to explain it.


Anne Merril said...

Dear intelligent and beautiful literary agent,

From one intelligent and beautiful person to another, let me ask you; is the potential or the actual more important?

Whichever answer you give, you have described me! A writer who has produced numerous unfinished novels and short stories, I am now well on my way to completing my first novel! I have spent months thinking about it and, after writing the first three gripping scenes, have realised this is it, the next great novel of our time.

I plan to have this completed within the next three months. All I need from you is the go ahead and I will quit my job and write full time. This will guarantee my success, and yours!

I have enclosed the first three scenes, completely raw and unedited, to demonstrate that I can write with no reviewing whatsoever, saving both you and me valuable time! I've also enclosed a picture I drew of the main character; as you can see, she is really something!

I look forward to hearing from you in the affirmative, and anticipate the many hours we will spend chatting on my new yacht, bought from the hard-earned money of our great success!

An intelligent and beautiful writer.

Remodeling Repartee said...

Dear Miss Snark,

I did not write a cover letter like that. I promise. However, I committed several faux pas in a recent submission of a requested manuscript to my dream agent. I am writing to ask if it is doomed:

1. I sent it by FedEx; then read in the new Writers Digest that this is annoying to agents because they must remove their stilettos from their desks and go to sign for the package. Although the envelope I sent bears the signatory of the front desk receptionist.

2.I neglected to enclose a SASE. This is my first submission. I am jelly. I jiggled for three days after realizing this mistake. Then I fired off a letter with an SASE, explaining that I understood it was unlikely that it would ever be united with the original submission, but wanted to make an attempt nonetheless.

3.Even after this untimely missive, I STILL neglected to inform the agent that she could feel free to recycle the manuscript if it was not for her.

Is this Snarkling crushed dust beneath the agent's heels for accidentally becoming high maintenance?

Miss Snark said...

See.. "Sushi Anyone" post for answer to RR

Gabriele Campbell said...

Lol Anne, I suppose a query letter like that will tempt an agent to commit the gravest sin possible and suggest you contact Publish America.