5.02.2006

In the Slush Pile today

1. "Having finished my novel, I'm now seeking representation". Having read your first sentence I am now saying no.

2. "Fighting her personal demons" "getting past her personal demons"
Unless you are writing SFF I don't want to hear about demons unless it's demon rum and you're offering me a swig.

3. "Reality TV attracts big audience numbers and this novel taps into that audience". This is a novel. Not TV. The only thing that assures audience crossover is a book ABOUT a specific TV show (Buffy being the primo example of that now). Just cause your book is about reality TV doesn't mean people who watch reality tv will buy it. The fact you think this is so, or that perhaps you know it isn't but hope I think it is, means one of us is an idiot. Let's vote. You win.

4. The utter nitwit who taped shut the pull tabs on the PRIORITY MAIL plus Delivery Confirmation envelope (total cost $4.55 plus SASE thankfully only at 39cents) such that when I cut it open with scissors I sliced his SASE beyond repair AND sliced his query. This over taping thing is beyond stupid. Priority mail querying is stupid too but if you want to enrich the post office that's your problem, not mine.

5. Dear "Mr." Snark.


6. "Knights of Templar/secret codes/hidden messages." Last year's news bucko. If this is what you're writing, you better try harder to make it sound fresh and interesting, cause "just like Dan Brown only better!" isn't as tempting as you think it is.


Tally: 15 queries, 6 so annoying that I don't want to read them. Actually, a pretty good day here at Snark Central.

16 comments:

Inkwolf said...

"Priority Mail" is actually just ordinary first-class mail, dressed up. You don't really want your mail to arrive by 4th-class Media rate, do you?

Now spending $15 for an express--that would be overkill. :D

Anonymous said...

I have seen clerks at the post office tape up an envelope like that before you could say boo. So the person may not have been to blame. I can't defend their sending it priority mail though.

Anonymous said...

Simply out of curiosity, what would you do if you recieved a genuinely good e-query from this blog? Would you ignore it just because you don't accept e-queries, or would you make an exception for something that, if they had submitted it correctly, you would accept? And I realize that this question was phrased abysmally... Many apologies!

Miss Snark said...

If a good query shows up on THIS blog, I delete it unread. Same for a bad one. I barely have time to read the mail asking questions and get a couple of posts up every day. I'm not going to spend one single solitary second telling nitwits not to do something so obviously NOT a good idea.

Miss Snark said...

Inkwolf, I prefer queries arrive in an envelope with a stamp. Wasting money on priority mail is stupid. Wasting it on express mail is more stupid. I can see delivery confirmation if you're obsessive, but you'll know if I get it: I answer you.

just Joan said...

LOL! So putting a query in an envelope, placing the envelope and a SASE in a larger envelope, and the larger envelope in a box (taped securely on all sides and down the center) would not be something that would amuse you? :-)

And I suppose you don't want the package to arrive postage due? *

*Do NOT try this at home! This was a joke, this was only a joke. If this were an actual submission procedure, it would have been followed by screams of frustration (from Miss Snark), howls of terror (from K. Y.), and breaking glass (from the window) as Miss Snark hurled the offending submisison out of sight. :-)

Anonymous said...

Does an unbound manuscript or proposal qualify for "Media" mail? I thought only bound books did (along with CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, and the like).

Dave Kuzminski said...

Actually, I do send subs by 4th Class Media rate.

lizzie26 said...

To first anonymous: Yes! That happened to me once. I stood at the PO counter, horrified, as the clerk quickly super-taped the envelope closed (and it was already sealed).

C.E. Petit said...

A tip for those sending Priority Mail who want "delivery confirmation": Get yourself a scale and buy your postage online from USPS. If you print the postage on your computer and tape/paste it on, you get free package tracking and delivery confirmation.

I always tape Priority Mail envelopes--so the ripping tabs are still free. That way I don't make K.Y. a new toy but don't have to trust the glue, either. But then, as a lawyer I have plenty of excuses for strange, somewhat paranoid behavior.

Bernita said...

Yes, Lizzie26, me too!
Like they were roping a steer.

Brooke said...

Please help a poor confused snarkling... Is it the arrogance in that first line ("Having finished my novel, I'm now seeking representation".) that kills it for you?

I mean, generally a person seeks representation after finishing a novel. Hopefully also after polishing that novel, but still.

Would you explain? I'm sorry to be a nitwit. Having so little of my own, I rely on your good sense.

Eva said...

I think Miss Snark has said time and time again not to state the obvious in queries. She knows before she opens the letter that the person is seeking representation. Tell her something she DOESN'T know, like the genre, word count, and plot summary.

Ralph said...

OK, is it me, or does the idea of writing a novel that appeals to the reality TV audience (slush 3) seem to be a fundamentally ridiculous undertaking?

My story is for illiterates! Them love me!

Having said that, I have to take number two to heart. I've got demons all over the place in my writing. Most of them are personal. (I'm trying some new medication.)

Brooke said...

OK. Thanks, Eva. I guess I don't find it all that obnoxious--but then, I don't have to read 200 queries a day, either. I imagine stating the obvious would get you Nitwit of the Day status pretty quickly at that rate.

Eva said...

Sure, Brooke. And I think you've nailed it. Seeing the same stupidity over and over is what makes it unforgivable, even though each person is committing the sin only once. I have the same frustration with college composition essays. Lately I've been writing "Dog help us!" in the margins.

Ralph, I imagine the writer has created a character participating in a reality television program. I'm kind of intrigued by the idea of a writer pretending that his fictional character is in a "reality" tv show, especially when we know most "reality" tv shows are "fictional" to some degree. I don't watch them, but I'd be interested to read about a character in them.