Miz BigShotz likes my novel

Ya, and so does your mother. The question is, will Miss Snark? Probably not, but it's worth asking. And to warm up your query letter, sometimes you tell Miss Snark about other people who think your novel doesn't suk. I'm gazing with awe upon one such query letter now.

It quotes, and thus I do too, "Anthony Award winning novelist" Miz BigShotz says "yadda yadda yadda" and further Nobel Prize winner Mr Carnivorous says "yadda to the second degree".

ok, sure, but can you please tell me what they read: This novel? A short story?
and WHERE they read it: Your kitchen table? A writing contest? A writing conference? a rejection letter for a blurb?

Sadly Miss Snark lost her innocence on the baggage carousel at Heathrow and thus is deeply suspicious of everything. If you don't give me context, I just don't believe it. And worse for you, I disregard it.

It's entirely common for people to take the comments of writing workshop teachers and use them in cover letters. I once got three query letters in about a week's time, all quoting a writer I know pretty well. I called him up and said "what's with all these folks you're sending me". He was a bit dumbfounded, cause of course he hadn't sent them to me. He'd taught a class, critiqued some work and next thing you know he's on a query letter in my mail box. We had a good laugh, but I never believed any kudos without context again.

So: credential your kudos; a word to the wise.

1 comment:

jackie said...

Sorry about the misplaced innocence. Have faith - Air France misplaced my mother's innocence for a solid week before a natty little man showed on our porch at 1:15 am with the precious bundle wrapped in cellophane (the innocence - not the natty little man). Innocence is intact once again, and must be slowly melted away with many gin-based cocktails.