Dear Miss Snark,
This is probably a nit-wit question, but I'm curious, so I'll go stand in the nit-wit corner and ask anyway. Have you ever gotten a creative query? (ie. A query for a pirate book on the back of a treasure map. Or maybe a package with a skeleton key, a shot glass, and a golf ball with the query saying "These were the only clues left for Detective Sly in the case of the missing golfer". Or perhaps a query in a mock up of the book they are trying to sell.) If you do get creative queries, are they annoying or welcome? I'm itching to send a creative query, but wondering if this would make me look bad. If so, I'll stuff my creativity into the trash and force myself into conformity.
Oh yes, I get these. They go directly in the trash.
Do NOT do this.
I don't care if anyone tells you they did it and got published. Don't do this.
First, if you're querying a lot of agents, you're going to spend a lot of money. Save your money for promotion where you'll need it.
Second, at the query stage of the process we're determining interest in your IDEA and getting a sense of your writing. Making this difficult, ie printing something on a treasure map, is counter productive.
Third, at some point in this process you have to write something that can be placed on the scanner of a black and white xerox machine and reproduced 50 times for the acquisitions committee to pick at. It might as well be now.
And don't think of this as forcing yourself into conformity. Think of this as following the directions so that you and your brilliant idea and writing can shine through.
The place for showing your brilliant origianl creative work is when I call you after reading your query letter and start begging for more.