O Ace One,
During the past year, I've spent some time working in an Australian publishing house, and although query letters aren't really the norm in Oz (a very brief cover letter, a synopsis and sample chapters are more common) we're receiving more and more "true queries"
Since the number of query styled letters (some diligently including at least five sample pages, but others accompanied by nothing -- which is a little irritating, as our website invites the full manuscript) has risen, so too have the lengthy pitches, the random credentials and oh, dear Dog, the grovelling. I just can't get past the awful servile attitude that seems to be popular in these queries. I can understand writers being overjoyed that someone is going to read their MS but the sickly sweet praise and thanks just about turn me off the whole package.
Here is a choice (and sadly verbatim) extract:
"Thank you so very much for your time and consideration in taking the time to read my novel. I can be contacted at any time that is convenient for you on".. or "Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any further questions. Thank you very much again. "
I particularly dislike the ones that apologise for their manuscript, or for taking up said time.
Miss Snark, I imagine you'e used to sitting down at Snark Central, surrounded fawning toy-boys bearing palm fronds, gin pails and general worshipping. So, as someone who is surely used to lavish praise and grovelling, do you find it (insurmountably) annoying? Could you work with a writer so insecure that they feel the need to thank you ad nauseam for taking the time to look over their damn letter?
Thank you for listening O Most Glorious Person of High Repute, and thank you Magnificent One for affording me precious moments of your most valuable time,
A Humble Snarkling.
PS. Thank you so much for your time.
Palm fronds and cabana boys? Geeze, I may have to move to Oz if that's what you've got down there (raucous howls of mirth at the idea of leaving the 212...but well...)
Anyway. Frankly, (and try not to scream dear writers) I don't pay much attention to that stuff.
I figure you probably got the wording out of some book and probably if you met me, you'd rip your ms from my carefully manicured claws anyway, so I just read your writing and ignore the fawning. It's not genuine, it's like courtly behaviour from the Court of St. Parsnip the Green.
Writers real sentiments are carefully concealed until the follow up email that starts "you muddle headed, addlepated twit, you call yourself an agent, all your taste is in your mouth"..and gets worse from there.