S. Andrew Swann (Off the Pink) checked his server logs and noticed that I had linked to his post on query spam, and he did a little more snooping on our "professional" author. It turns out she has a "certificate of competence" as a writer.
Dang! That changes everything.
Read this if you're in need of a good laugh -- or if you want a truly good example of what not to do when you're looking for an agent or a publisher.
I always feel stupid about harping on query letters because it seems so elementary to me that if you want to find a publisher or an agent, you'll research the process well enough to know who is a potential target for your manuscript and what their requirements are for evaluating it. Why is it so difficult to understand this?
Why it is so difficult to understand that no matter how much your paid "critique company" gushes about the fabulousness of your manuscript, if you have not written a book that fits the type of books with which a particular agent or editor works, you are not only not going to get any interest from that person, you are going to irritate the hell out of them, and you're going to look like a fool in the process.
Looking like a fool is rarely to your advantage.
I'm sympathetic to the difficulties authors face. Truly; I am. But, use the web, people! Look it up! Find out who you're talking to before you send a query! Our website is very clear that we're only interested in publishing historical fiction and alternate history, so WHY would you send me a query for a self-help book, or a terrorist thriller, or a medical thriller, or modern-day chick-lit?
Is it so you can grouse to your friends about how everyone is too focused on money to take on a Great Literary Work like yours? Spare me.
(And WHY would you send query-spam to another author --Off the Pink -- at all? Are you an idiot???)
If you really are an idiot... well ... OK then. But if you're just acting like an idiot, please, help us out: Get a clue.
That concludes today's public service announcement.