The Query Letter You SHOULDN'T WRITE

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to offer you my fictional novel. Although I may not be following your website's guidelines, rest assured, I'm only sending this e-amil to agents who represent fiction books like mine. This makes you pretty lucky - the book is almost guaranteed to make a LOT of money.
Even though self-publishing and independant publishing is growing ever day, and making "traditional" publishers pretty obselete, I think it would be best to use one since they still have the reach and - more important! - their marketing deparments pretty much CONTROL what the public reads nowadays. You're a clever, book person - do you really thinkg 'Twilight' is good? Of course not, but THEY still made millions.But now its time for good literature to have the same treatment

My novel is 200 pages long, and is an allegory of modern society, with the same kind of political / fictional mix as George Orwell's 1984, so I think a similar audience will like it. The title, 'Avec Mon Frere', is french for 'With My Brother', and tells you the main plot - the story of two brothers, one of who represents society as it is, and one represents society as it SHOULD be. The winner is a statement on our futures.

I have included a details synopsis as an attachment for you to read. If you are interested, please send me a request for the first three chapters. I'd rather not send them out to all agents blindly, since I think the writing is really what grabs attention and might be ... well, a little tempting to people if they don't have persmission! 

Thank you for your time. I have wanted to be a writer for a long time, and now that the book is almost finished, it's time to set it loose into the word, and I think as an agent you could really reach the publishers. Imagine - literary lunches as newspapers ask for interviews, and you getting a percentage of all the payments just for hooking me up with the editor you know would like the book! So do ask for the three chapters if you like the synopsis - but only if you do. The story is important and not really able to change without the meaning being diluted. Another 'Twilight'? NOT this author!

If you would like to phone, and not e-amil, I can also do this. 

Thank you

Simon Clark

[It's like a game! Points for every mistake you see! The prize is knowing you're a normal human being, and not being hunted down by all the agents in the world.]


  1. Ahhhhhhhh! There are too many! (AgSfdskjfnJF! OG234r24fdsIgE! Explodes with blood and electricity and more blood)

  2. Ah ha ha ha! Too many to list them! I will start with my own bugbear - "fictional novel"

  3. Writer's Marketplace (of which I am currently borrowing / hoarding Caleb's copy) has a similar thing - examples of good and bad letters and applications, but they really held back. This was fun to write, but worrying - people totally do this and aren't joking :/

  4. I was fine with this until I spotted that he'd misspelled 'email'. Really that's the clincher.

  5. I loved the part where you threw in that little accusation about stealing the manuscript. lol! You charmer you! The sad thing is that people write stuff like this ALL the time. Have you checked out Slush pile hell? Some of the stuff on there is even WORSE than this!

  6. Erin, Slush Pile Hell is great fun - and I admit I learned a few things from it. Not that I necessarily was doing those things, but more how to write a good, brief synopsis, or working out what the real story was in a novel. I pointed Caleb to it when he was working on writing a synopsis for a full novel!